Energy Connectivity Accelerates Low-Carbon Energy Development and Economic Growth in the Lancang-Mekong Region

November 29, 2023 | Bangkok, Thailand

The Lancang-Mekong (LM) Region is home to over 1.6 billion people. Energy is the cornerstone of sustainable development. Energy demand is rising as LM countries – who enjoy cultural similarities and economic complementarities -have maintained impressive economic growth over the past two decades. This trend will continue, especially given the LM region’s high economic and population growth and increased urbanization. By some estimates, it is expected to triple between 2012 and 2025 nearly.

Meeting the growing energy demand in the LM region poses a significant challenge, especially in the context of transitioning to a low-carbon society. To address this surging demand and mitigate the impacts of climate change, LM countries must focus on innovative energy solutions and energy connectivity.

Energy connectivity can serve as a catalyst for expanding sustainable energy solutions in the LM region. By connecting power systems across borders, countries can access a wider range of renewable energy options. Furthermore, power system interconnection helps overcome challenges associated with integrating higher shares of variable renewable energy resources like solar and wind. For instance, the interconnection of a country’s grid with neighboring countries has allowed the introduction of wind power as a major energy source in a single electricity market. Expanding energy connectivity in the region would enable the utilization of the vast solar and wind potential across multiple countries.

Cross-border power connectivity aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 7, which aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. Energy connectivity can contribute to addressing social development issues, such as providing electricity access to all households and individuals.

The economic development of LM countries is in a period of rapid growth. Driven by the “multi-country and multi-park” cooperation model, LM countries will strongly promote the optimization of production capacity cooperation and the integrated development of the industrial chain, supply chain, and value chain. Industrial clusters divided into administrative services, commerce, and industry are gradually taking shape. It will not only meet the green energy needs of various industries but also promote the process of carbon neutrality in LM countries.

Recognizing their importance, power connectivity and industrial park green development have been a priority for various cooperation mechanisms, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), and the Global Development Initiative (GDI). The BRI aims to enhance regional connectivity, green cooperation, and sustainable development. Cooperation on power connectivity and industrial park green developmentamong LM countries enjoys great prospects. To achieve net-zero targets, LM countries have the same development and cooperation consensus.

To leverage the synergies between the BRI, LMC, and GDI, with the support of the People’s Republic of China, China Southern Power Grid Co., Ltd.(CSG), Mekong Institute, China Energy Research Society (CERS), Lancang-Mekong Energy & Power Cooperation Research Center (EDRI/LMERC) are jointly implementing the projects on “Promoting Greater Energy Connectivity for Equitable Development and Growth in the Lancang-Mekong Region.” and “Capability Enhancement on Low/Zero-Carbon Industrial Park Energy System in Lancang-Mekong Countries”.

These two projects aim to foster sustainable energy solutions, enhance regional cooperation, contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the LM Region, and support LM countries in realizing their energy transition and security goals.

With support from the People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China (P.R. China), as an integral component of the two projects, CSG, MI, CERS, and EDRI/LMERC are going to co-host the report launch and discussion on “Energy Connectivity Accelerates Low-Carbon Energy Development and Economic Growth in the Lancang-Mekong Region” in Bangkok on November 29, 2023.

The main objective of the event is to facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing among energy regulators to increase collaboration across the LM Region on power sector connectivity, green and low-carbon energy development, and related issues.

Against this introduction, participants in the event will discuss two main topics and launch two reports:

  • Outlook of Deepening Lancang-Mekong Region Power Connectivity and Cooperation of Key Areas
  • Policy Recommendations for Low/Zero-Carbon Energy Development of Lancang-Mekong Region Industrial Parks (Phase I Research)
  • The participants will be invited to share their experiences and cases of energy green development in different LM countries, as well as the power connectivity and the research results.

Members of the LM Region countries, officials of government agencies, particularly those working in the cross-border power connectivity or low-carbon industrial park development, development practitioners, and representatives for research institutes are highly encouraged to join.

Mekong Institute (MI)

Ms. Tina Wang
Program Manager (Sustainable Energy and Environment Department)
Tel: + 66 (0) 4320 2411 Ext. 4102 Email: jwang@mekonginstitute.org

Ms. Yupaporn Siribut
Program Officer (Sustainable Energy and Environment Department)
Tel: + 66 (0) 4320 2411 Ext. 4104 Email: yupaporn@mekonginstitute.org

Ms. Kademanee Suthum
Project Operations Support Assistant (Sustainable Energy and Environment Department)
Tel: + 66 (0) 4320 2411 Ext. 4105
Email: kademanee@mekonginstitute.org 

 

To download the agenda, click here.
 

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