The Nam Ou River Basin, home to a cascade of seven hydropower dams, is rapidly changing. IFC and Lao PDR officials intend to identify key characteristics of the basin and create a comprehensive profile.
“IFC’s Performance Standards could be used as a guideline, or a checklist when reviewing environmental impact assessments,” said U Hein Htet, Deputy Director General, Department of Electric Power Planning at MOEP.
“Hydropower companies in Myanmar need an opportunity to network, learn from each other’s experiences, and collaborate on how to overcome challenges," said Robert Allen, Chair of Lao PDR’s Hydropower Developers’ Working Group.
By strengthening policy and regulatory frameworks, and the capacity to identify, monitor and manage risks, MOEP and MOECAF, with the support of IFC, are addressing these challenges to build a more sustainable hydropower sector.
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IFC Promotes Sustainability of the Hydropower Sector in the Mekong Region
In Asia, 700 million people live without electricity. To meet Asia’s growing energy demands, hydropower projects in the Mekong region are developing fast.
In Myanmar alone, hydropower potentials top 100,000 megawatts – the region’s highest. If realized sustainably, the energy produced could benefit 34 million people, or about 66 percent of the population that currently live without access to electricity. This is coupled with Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s energy generation potentials, which could bring electricity to nearly all rural households by 2020, drive business growth, and generate income to reduce poverty.
The challenge, however, is to develop this natural resource sustainably. [read more]