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Thursday, April 5, 2007

Geographical Information System in Laos

Geographical Information System in Laos

The government will have access to more information to allow the expansion of the electricity grid in rural areas, by using a computerised Geographical Information System.

Yesterday in Vientiane the government agreed to funding for the project from ‘Intelligent Energy Europe' and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It approved the Capacity and Institutional Strengthening for Rural Electrification and Development project to test and implement a pilot project for decentralised energy options in Khammuan province.

Khammuan province has facilities for the generation of electricity through hydropower and solar power, as well as capable human resources.

The project will provide important information for rural electrification planning in the future, said the Director General of the Department of Electricity, Mr Houmphone Bulyaphone.

The project will be tested and implemented in Laos and Cambodia , and will run for two years from 2007-2008.

The objective of the project is to improve the impact of rural electrification on sustainable development and poverty alleviation, using the Geographical Information System.

Both countries will develop their technical capacity and be provided with the hands-on tools to direct investments and decide between off-grid and on-grid options, renewable or fossil fuel off-grid production, as well as priority projects to maximise development.

Training sessions will be organised for a hands-on approach to learning, along with regular meetings with working groups to ensure sharing of knowledge and ownership building.

The GIS-based tool GEOSIM for rural electrification will be developed as a result of the two ASEAN member countries having very low rates of rural electrification.

GEOSIM is a computerised rural electrification planning tool developed by Innovation Energie Developpement of France .

An electricity service plays a key role in rural development, giving access to affordable, reliable and safe electricity which can improve food, education and health services, as well as improving opportunities for income generation.

By KHAMPHONE SYVONGXAY
(Latest Update April 5, 2007)

http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/FreeContent_geograpichcal.htm

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