Laos Faces Power Crisis from Crypto Mining, Low Rainfall

Laos faces electricity shortages as cryptocurrency mining and erratic rainfall strain its hydropower capacity. 

Somboun Sangxayarath, an advisor at Electricite Du Laos (EDL), cites cryptocurrency mining’s surge, now constituting over a third of power demand, alongside decreased hydropower output due to lower rainfall.

According to Reuter’s reports, Laos, renowned as Southeast Asia’s battery for its hydropower potential, struggles with power supply amid rising demand from cryptocurrency mining and unpredictable rainfall patterns. Hydropower, comprising 80% of Laos’ electricity over a decade, faces constraints, pushing the state utility EDL into a net importer position since 2021. This shift escalates costs, demanding 600 MW extra capacity during peak demand, notes Sangxayarath. 

Laos endeavors to mitigate power shortages by expanding hydropower projects, aiming to add 720 MW by next year. Laos opts for solar-hydro and wind-hydro hybrid power stations over coal due to environmental concerns and financing challenges. 

This diversifies its power portfolio. Despite halting power supply to cryptocurrency ventures yet to commence operations, Laos seeks new investment proposals to bolster power availability, Sangxayarath confirms.

Also Read: Iran’s Crypto Mining Funds Terrorism, U.S. Lawmakers Warn

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