Laos Faces Electricity Crisis Due to Crypto Mining and Low Rainfall

  • Sergey Maga
  • 17 May, 2024 09:41
Laos Faces Electricity Crisis Due to Crypto Mining and Low Rainfall

Laos is experiencing significant electricity shortages as the booming cryptocurrency mining industry and erratic rainfall patterns strain its hydropower capacity. Somboun Sangxayarath, an advisor at Electricite Du Laos (EDL), revealed that cryptocurrency mining now accounts for over a third of the country’s power demand. Concurrently, reduced rainfall has decreased hydropower output, exacerbating the power crisis, according to Cryptotimes.

According to Reuters, Laos, historically known as Southeast Asia’s “battery” due to its abundant hydropower resources, is struggling to meet the rising electricity demand. Hydropower has traditionally supplied 80% of Laos’ electricity over the past decade. However, since 2021, the country has had to import more power to meet demand, increasing costs and necessitating an additional 600 MW during peak periods.

In response to the power shortages, Laos is accelerating the expansion of its hydropower projects, aiming to add 720 MW by next year. The country is also exploring solar-hydro and wind-hydro hybrid power stations as alternatives to coal, driven by environmental concerns and financing challenges.

Despite suspending power supplies to cryptocurrency ventures that have not yet started operations, Laos continues to seek new investment proposals to enhance power availability, as confirmed by Sangxayarath. This strategic shift aims to diversify Laos’ power portfolio and mitigate future shortages.

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