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Lao Institute for Renewable Energy

LIRE (Lao Institute for Renewable Energy) is a non-profit organization based in Vientiane, created in 2006 and granted from the official authorization to work at national scale.

Our mission is to explore, develop and sustain efforts for making Laos develop its own renewable energy sector and enhance its natural resources use. LIRE acts as an independent research and development institute offering agronomical, technological, socio-environmental and economic research services, capacity building as well as training programs, and provides consultancy on renewable energy policy development and more recently natural resources management.
In practical terms we work on 4 programmes: Bio-energy, Solar powered water purification, Pico-hydropower and DEWATS (Decentralized waste water treatment).


Date of Establishment:

21-Nov, 2006

Purpose of Organization:

OUR mission is to explore, develop and sustain efforts for making Laos develop its own renewable energy sector and better use its natural resources. Our mission can be achieve through technology research, dissemination, implementation, education/training, policy support and providing information to all stakeholder (from villagers, to private sector and policy makers) within the Lao PDR.

GEF/SGP involvement:

Project title:LAO/MAP-CBA/2010-CBA9
Signed on the 21st of July 2010
General title: Solar-powered water pumping, purification and distribution system in Lao PDR

Date : From September 2010 to August 2012
In this project LIRE is the Proponent together with an off-grid community. Indeed this initiative was a joint initiative resulting from direct village demand.

Experience:

LIRE’s goal is dedicated to the sustainable development of a self sufficient renewable energy sector in the Lao PDR and improved the management of natural resources. Our mission focuses on the one hand in the development of a sustainable Lao energy sector, on the other hand on increase access to local natural resources. The mission can be achieved through technology research, dissemination, education, policy support and providing information to all stakeholder (from villagers, to private sector and policy makers) within the Lao PDR. Therefore, LIRE fully applied on a daily basis the principle of Rio Convention.
LIRE’s renewable energy programmes are focused on pico hydropower, solar drinking water purification, decentralized wastewater treatment solutions, and bio-energy. Fifteen employees plus few interns support and lead these programmes. Our environmental knowledge is a rich mix of highly experienced national and international experts in agronomy, economy, environmental science and general engineers. We are supported by a network of national members, international associates, and partner institutions. Experience sharing has a high value in our strategy, the institute has the purpose to be an information platform sharing and recently oriented its strategy towards further local and regional networks. With an excellent knowledge of the situation on the ground and strong relationships with local-provincial-national Lao authorities, the institute is recognized as a leading local centre of expertise for renewable energy.
Finally, LIRE is willing to share

1.       Regarding GEF Focal area our work directly impacts the following:
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation.

Climate change is one of the most critical challenges we face today, Lao-PDR has a challenging goal to leave the list of LDCs by 2020. However, this results in more energy intensive development projects in the near future. The majority of the rural population (69%) depends primarily on biomass (fuel wood and charcoal) for its domestic energy needs as well as for lighting, electricity generation and productive uses including water-pumping and rice mills. Our goal is to participate to this objective without compromising environment and natural resources in the Lao PDR.
Our projects are on the one hand trying to mitigate climate change, through reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and, on the other hand they also prove the viability of small scale renewable energy technology.
Our main projects:
•       Solar water purification project
The aim of the solar powered water purification project is to implement a water purification system which is managed locally (by a village entrepreneur) so that villagers can produce their own drinking water in a sustainable and economic viable way. Drinkable water is essential but access to clean water remains even in the Lao PDR unequal. Most of rural population needs to boiled water. It means that they use a considerable amount of wood. Consequences for environment for this single step are negative (wood collection come directly from villages’ forests surroundings and the dispersed smoke offers neither clean air to villagers, neither to Earth).

•       Pico-hydropower
LIRE´s pico-hydropower programme comprises of a broad range of technical, operational and social issues. LIRE seeks direct ways to improve the Lao supply chain, through supporting domestic manufacturers, as well as providing information to end-users One pilot project was successfully conducted last year on shared pico-hydropower system. The project aims to demonstrate how a rural community can use a shared pico-hydropower in a collective environment, sharing the financial costs and workload in order to provide a safer, sustainable and more reliable service for the community.

Biodiversity Conservation

In the Lao PDR, continuous deforestation is unfortunately a common practice. Communities collect firewood for rice cultivation and burn charcoal to cook. The direct consequences can be observed in rural areas, which suffer a decrease in land fertility and more landslides.
We believe that there are suitable alternatives to conventional practises. Rather than changing the surrounding, our systems can be implemented and are adaptable to what already exist.

Our main projects:
Bio-Energy: Bio-energy signifies turning waste into energy. In this perspective, we are continuously exploring the most suitable solutions for the Lao PDR.

We are currently conducting research on green charcoal. This program aims to reuse natural resources to make charcoal. The purpose is to burn the already existing forest’s waste instead of burning forest’s portions.
We also conducted a cook stoves study, where the goal is to have an improved cook stove, officially recognised by the lao government. It is hard to change the lao population cooking habits. Thus, rather than taking several decades to try to change their habits, we provide an immediate, alternative solutions to reduce (GHG) by having more environmentally friendly cookstoves.
Thirdly, we work on small-scale biofuel solutions whereby we have started a community level project with Jatropha plantations. The aim is to provide complementary revenue to household as well as increase awareness about their natural resources and the potential they represent to life quality.
At last but not at least, we would like to point out that our activities in bio-energy are also oriented on the support, the development and extension of policies and regulations in the Lao PDR. In 2010 we lead the first Biofuel Policy study after 3 years of experimentation.

Indirectly Land Degradation and International water

Our participation to the focal point “Land degradation” is indirect. We are not involved directly in the community-based management of lands, restoration or policies. However, with project such as Water Purification and Green Charcoal, we provide solutions to reduce deforestation, which lessen considerably the land degradation’s pace.
Regarding international waters, thanks to technology like DEWATS, we support a sustainable community based management of water. DEWATS system can be use only at community level, this point is important when a country has abundant water. Indeed, usually individuals who have an easy access to water tend to waste it. Further, the sub-Mekong countries are sharing most of their rivers. The actual debate around dams and its impacts underlines clearly the link between all these countries and their responsibilities about water management. In most Asian countries, waste returns to rivers without being treated. DEWATS technology has a positive impact on downstream chains, river biodiversity, as it cleans water by a totally natural mean.
Further, it must be underlined that we are also working on the policy level for this program. We endlessly call attention of the Lao PDR government in water management, priority sectors and work on laws enforcement about water pollution.
Countries in which organization is active:
  • Lao PDR

Contact Details
Street Address:
Unit 16, Ban Watnak, House No. 366,
Lao-Thai Friendship Road, P.O. Box 8010,
Sisattanak District,
City/Town:
Vientiane
Country:
Lao PDR
Telephone No.:
00856-21-353430
Fax Phone:
00856-21-353897
Website:
http://www.lao-ire.org
Organization founded:
Nov-21-2006

NGO Information
Focal Area:
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • International Waters
  • Land Degradation
  • Others
  • Organization Type:
  • Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
  • Geographic Scope:
  • National

  • Contact Person
    Name:
    Ms. Aurelie Phimmasone Key Contact Person
    Position:
    Managing Director
    Email:
    aurelielao-ire.org


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