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Laos exchanges knowledge on energy regulation in Australia
Australia is supporting Laos’ green economy ambitions. With support from Australia’s Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) initiative, 17 Lao officials travelled to Australia to explore energy regulation best practice through meetings with Australian and Vietnamese peers, and visits to innovative energy tech sites.
From 24 to 26 October, representatives from Laos’ Ministry of Energy and Mines, Electricite Du Laos (EDL) and EDL-Gen, took part in a workshop led by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to learn about the organisational reforms, structures and regulations that are accelerating Australia’s own clean energy transition.
Australian Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Paul Kelly, noted the value of this knowledge sharing to support Laos’ energy sector and strengthen its contribution to economic growth.
“In undertaking our own energy transition, the Australian Government and its energy institutions are well-equipped to share their expertise, insights and learning with Lao PDR to assist the ongoing development of their energy sector,” said Ambassador Kelly.
With guest presenters from the AER, Clean Energy Regulator and AusGrid, the workshop aimed to support Laos in establishing its own national energy regulatory body, and forms part of growing cooperation under the new P4I-funded Laos-Australia Sustainable Energy Partnership (LASEP). Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong launched LASEP in May 2023, reaffirming Australia’s commitment to supporting Laos as it develops a more sustainable, reliable and profitable energy sector.
On 26 October, P4I-funded delegates from the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam joined the workshop with their Lao peers for a joint session on energy affordability and accessibility. This reflects Australia’s growing trilateral cooperation with Laos and Vietnam on energy transition to support climate resilience.
The Lao delegation toured the Real-time Digital Simulation Laboratory at UNSW, experiencing first-hand the power of technology in establishing clean energy markets and production. They also travelled north of Sydney to Narara Ecovillage to see how a sustainable community is using smart-grid technology.
Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy highlights the importance of expanding government-to-government technical assistance between Australia and the region. Under LASEP, AER is looking at enhancing cooperation with the government of Laos through a second workshop in early 2024, which will focus on energy regulator mechanisms, including variable renewable energy integration, investment, and tariff pricing. This is part of P4I’s expanding support for government-to-government engagement in Southeast Asia.