1. Overview
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The Lao PDR has a large hydropower potential (estimated around 26GW and 28GW from the tributaries of the Mekong and mainstream Mekong itself). The government, in its efforts to raise the country out of its least-developed country status, aims to achieve 90% household electrification and to promote the country as “the battery of the region”. Mainly, this is achieved through the development of large hydropower facilities along the Mekong river. However, small-scale hydropower has received less attention, due to limited commercial opportunities for the public and private sector.

If a remote village with an intermittent and poor-quality power supply is located close to a river then the population can harness energy from the stream by using small hydro power turbines. Usually, the systems are poorly installed by the villagers, posing a risk to the population and environment (disruption of the fish flow…).

Project:Shared pico-hydropower in Long District
Duration:2011 – 2013
Province:Luang Namtha Province
Project Partner / Donors:NCA
Project Description: This project aimed to install pico-hydro electricity systems in 2 - 3 villages in Long District (102 households concerned and 4 buildings). It included:
- Pre-feasibility study in order to assess whether it would be possible to install pico-hydro systems (field trip)
- Feasibility study with design measurements and analysis of villagers capacity (economically and technically)
- Design and procurement in order to define necessary equipment
- Installation and training in the village on its proper use and maintenance
Project:Shared pico-hydropower in Angsang village, Vienxay district, Huaphan
Duration:2010
Province:Houaphan
Project Partner / Donors:BORDA
German Embassy
Project Description: The shared pico-hydropower project aimed to demonstre how a rural community can use pico-hydro in a collective, sharing the financial costs and workload, to provide a safer and more reliable service. The project was divided in 2 missions:
1) Installation of pico-hydropower plans and power gird inherent
2) Training on operation, inspection and commissioning
Project:Shared pico-hydropower in Angsang village, Vienxay district, Huaphan
Duration:2010
Province:Houaphan
Project Partner / Donors:ETC Netherlands
Project Description: The objectives of the project were to install a pico-hydropower system in the Angsang Village and to provide technical training (for villagers and technicians in the area) and tools (Pico-hydropower Installation and User Manual in Lao language) in order to scale up and improve the quality, safety and efficiency of pico-hydropower technology.
  • 2012: Shared pico-hydropower in Long District, Luang Namtha province - PDF (640 KB)
  • 2012: Pre-feasibility study for shared pico-hydropower in Long District, Luang Namtha province - PDF (1,59 MB)
  • 2012: Shared pico-hydropower in Long District, Luang Namtha province - PDF (850 KB)
  • 2011: Pico-hydropower Innovation and Capacity Building Program (Phase 2) in Lao PDR - PDF (2,28 MB)
  • 2010: Shared Pico Hydro Power demonstration in Angsang village, Huaphan province: Training and commissioning report - PDF (1,89 MB)
  • 2010: Installation of demonstration site in Angsang - PDF (1,34 MB)
  • 2009: Shared Pico-Hydropower in Houaphanh Province - PDF (1,21 MB)
  • 2009: DEWATS Pre-Feasibility Study for Wastewater Management at Luang Prabang Agricultural College - PDF (1,17 MB)