Greater Mekong Subregion Energy Sector Investments: Concerns and Recommendations

Through the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) are financing regional energy infrastructure projects and technical studies in the region’s energy sector. Investments are guided by the GMS Energy Roadmap, which prioritizes the development of a regional electricity grid that is proposed to be powered predominantly by large hydropower dams along the tributaries and mainstream of the Lower Mekong River Basin. As a result, the ADB and World Bank funding is directly helping to develop the high voltage gridlines needed for this system of interconnections and to commission consultancies to analyze power sector development options. What are the problems?

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This briefing paper, “Re-Assessing Greater Mekong Subregion Energy Investments”, provides an overview and critical analysis of the large-scale energy investments prioritized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank in the Mekong region. Case studies focus on hydropower-related projects in Lao PDR that are intended for exporting electricity to Thailand and Vietnam.

This resource can be used for advocacy at the ADB and World Bank, as well as for research purposes. 

Download the briefing: PDF file (10.7 Mb)


Vietnamese version is available and was edited by PanNature

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