Brief Information on the Off-Grid Program
of Lao Government
In 1998, the World Bank agreed to provide the Government of Laos
with a pilot funding support to install 6000 solar home systems in 6
provinces and 3 village hydro and genset units in 2 provinces
Xiengkhouang and Luangprabang. The loan was managed by the
Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) which also was responsible for
the project implementation.

The success of this initial pilot phase was confirmed in 2005 by an
agreement between the World Bank and the Government of Laos to
expand the objectives of the project under a larger Rural
Electrification Program (REP) and the conclusion of a grant contract
to implement a first Phase of this program. The main overall
objectives of the REP include:
•        To provide electricity to villagers in remote areas of Lao PDR
•        To provide support to renewable energy utilization for rural
villages in order to protect environment and natural condition.
•        To help poor people by providing electricity for income
generation activity in order to improve their quality of life

Based on the experience gained during the pilot phase, MEM
decided to externalize the management of the off grid component of
the program, by setting up a Village Off grid Promotion and Support

Subsequent to an international tender, the French Consultancy firm,
IED, in association with SV Consultants, was awarded this contract
for a 3 year period from 2006 to 2009, followed by a program
monitoring period.

The VOPS Office has been set up in March 2006 and since then, it
has achieved significant results including the expansion of the
program coverage in all provinces of the country through a network
of Provincial Electricity Service Companies (PESCOs), the
installation of 3,750 new SHS and the plan for 5,750 new systems,
the execution of a troubleshooting program targeting all customers
of the pilot phases, the preliminary works for installation of 4 village
hydro and genset units in Northern provinces and the execution of a
safety awareness training campaign in 150 villages.  A VOPS
Northern Branch has been opened early 2007 in Oudomxay to cover
more closely the activities undertaken in the Northern Provinces

The objectives for the remaining are in line with the Consultant
mandate, i.e. to reach 9,000 new SHS installations and 1,000 hydro-
based connections with a specific business model likely to be
replicated in other provinces, an improvement of the systems’
operation and better service for all electrical customers taking part in
the program, a safety awareness campaign completed in 350
villages of Northern provinces and improved technical and
administrative management methods and tools. The concluding 10
month monitoring period will allow to follow-up the operations of
approximately 16,000 connections in all provinces of the country.
PESCO & VEM training in
Vientiane province
PESCO & VEM training in
Vientiane province
Village Off-Grid Promotion and Support