Laos’ dams will help Southeast Asia meet its growing energy demand without adding to its carbon emissions; indeed, hydropower accounts for the largest share of global renewable energy capacity, helping countries reduce their reliance on planet-warming fossil fuels.
But at what cost, the programme Insight finds out.
“There’s a lot of concern over the Luang Prabang dam — that it’ll impact people’s livelihoods and even the World Heritage values of the town,” said University of Sydney emeritus professor of human geography Philip Hirsch.
It will sit between Pak Beng, another dam being planned upstream, and the downstream Xayaburi dam. It is being developed by PetroVietnam Power and CK Power, a subsidiary of Thai construction firm CH Karnchang.