News 2008

Sunlabob Energy Auditing Program

Energy auditing

Recently Electricité du Laos (EdL) and the Laos Ministry of Energy and Mines announced the establishment of a national Demand-Side Management/Energy Efficiency (DSM/EE) program.

Energy Auditing is a key component in demand side management and energy efficiency projects to reduce overall energy use and ensure that energy is used as efficiently as possible.

In line with the objectives of the DSM/EE program, Sunlabob is currently building the capacity to be the first company in Laos to offer an Energy Auditing service for organizations, businesses, government departments and residences. The project also aims to build capacity among local staff who will conduct these audits, which is essential in ensuring the longevity of the project, and will develop a knowledge base which will propagate a new attitude towards energy use and energy efficiency in Laos.

The project has already been successful in conducting its first energy audit of the Lao-German House, which is home to the German development organizations GTZ and DED. Sunlabob is currently completing a thorough energy audit which will benefit the Lao-German House through reduced energy use, improved environment sustainability and occupant comfort.

Joint venture of Sunlabob and Comin Khmere

Comin Khmere and Sunlabob Renewable Energy have recently united in a joint-venture named Clean Energy Group. This joint-venture will mainly operate in Cambodia combining Comin Khmere’s power engineering skills with the operational expertise and knowledge of Sunlabob. With nearly 50 years of experience in the Cambodian market Comin Khmere proves as a ideal partner for engineering, supply, design, construction, installation, supervision and testing of energy equipment especially in the Cambodian but also in the South East Asian market. With Sunlabob’s extensive experience in renewable energy applications on and off the grid in Laos and abroad, the two companies have entered into an ultimate partnership.

Please see more at the websites of Comin Khmere and Sunlabob.

The Clean Energy Group website will be launching soon at


Rural Water Purification in Laos by Sunlabob

Sunlabob has launched its first innovative solar powered water purification system in Laos. This system, which uses Our World UV and ozone water purification technology, as well as chlorine production equipment from Antenna Technologies, seeks to provide Lao villages with sustainable and affordable drinking water.

For this project, Sunlabob has partnered with the Lao Institute of Renewable Energy (LIRE) and the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) to research, train and develop the combination of these technologies in the Lao context and launch a pilot installation, which has taken place in Ban Sor, Sangthong District, Vientiane Province and was co-financed by the German Embassy in Laos.

Sunlabob believes that this self-sustainable water purification system will go a long way in providing drinking water to the 60% of the rural Lao population who currently have no clean water source. With Sunlabob’s partnership with LIRE and BORDA, this idea may also reach more people in the developing world.

2008 Tech Award Laureate: SUNLABOB

Sunlabob has been selected for the 2008 Tech Award that was held on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
“The Tech Awards program inspires global engagement in applying technology to humanity's most pressing problems by recognizing the best of those who are utilizing innovative technology solutions to address the most urgent critical issues facing our planet.”
For more detailed information please read the official press release or visit the TECH AWARDS website.

Sunlabob partnering with Engineers Without Borders Australia


Sunlabob is partnering with EWB Australia to provide young engineering professionals the opportunity to experience practical approaches of renewable energy technology in the developing world. For a start EWB Australia has recently published an article about Sunlabob's operations. Interested volunteers are welcome to visit the EWB Australia website or to directly contact Sunlabob.

Also please be advised that Sunlabob is currently seeking Marketing and Electrical/Electronic Engineers. Find out more in the Jobs Section.

Another two Sunlabob Lantern Stations in Africa

Sunlabob's franchisee TSSD recently opened the next two charging stations in the development of the African market of the Sunlabob battery lantern. The locations include two villages in Wakiso and Mukono District of Uganda. Uncommon brightness of the lanterns have caused much excitement among the local villagers and have created a big demand for lanterns paving the way for new developments in the upcoming months.

UNEP Sasakawa Award 2008 to Sunlabob

UNEP-logo nippon logo

We are proud to announce to be elected as one of two winners of the 2008 UNEP Sasakawa Prize under the theme of World Environment Day 2008: 'Moving towards a low carbon economy'.

"Addressing the monumental energy challenge of the 21st century involves practical projects at ground level that bring tangible changes to the way people live. Sunlabob is showing tremendous leadership in bringing clean energy to remote communities in Lao PDR, and in doing so they are setting further examples of the energy alternatives available to the developing but also the developed world."
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director

The Sasakawa prize is awarded yearly to individuals or institutions who have made a substantial contribution to the protection and management of the environment.
The Nippon Foundation is an independent, non-profit grant-making organization that supports both domestic and international philanthropic projects.

Sunlabob to build internal capacity

We have finished a 7-day internal training program for our staff that runs under Sunlabob’s Capacity Building Program. Usually focusing on training of external franchisees to expand our capacity network, this training focused on internal capacity building.
Process manuals created by our business consultant Lata Suresh were realized through concept manual implementation and improvement of internal communication in Sunlabob to improve our service. The Lao human resource market is very low, so we can not rely on institutional education programs, to have skilled people.

Incorporation of Sunlabob International Pte. Ltd.


Sunlabob has opened an international branch of SUNLABOB INTERNATIONAL PTE, LTD. in Singapore.

We are planning to expand our operations outside of Laos especially for the markets in South East Asia and Africa with this new branch and hope we can serve a better localization service to our customers.

Partnership with ClientSide Concepts


Sunlabob is pleased to announce its partnership with ClientSide Concepts Development Inc., a Canadian company specializing in hard- and software development and IT consulting services. Together, ClientSide Concepts and Sunlabob will develop and market the next generation of our award-winning solar lanterns.

This cooperation will also pave the way for a new generation of our highly successful rental approach, with a jointly developed rental management software allowing to track and monitor installations of our rural electrification systems worldwide.

In combination with a newly developed carbon accounting system, this innovative software platform will enable us to qualify implementations of our rental systems as projects under the Clean Development Mechanism.

Sunlabob enjoys annual company trip

vacation 2008

Vietnam was once again the destination for our 7th annual company trip that has become a huge portion of our corporate identity. With a rented bus the team made its way to the beaches of Hué, where the whole company enjoyed the beautiful weather. The raining season with flooded roads and landslides could not hold us back from our well deserved holiday, an incentive for the conjointly progress the Sunlabob team has made regarding our rural electrification projects of last year.

Sunlabob’s management understands the huge employee motivation benefit and improvement of organizational environment through this activity.

Sunlabob takes up Capacity building challenge

Under a joint program between the EU-Asia-Link Project and the National University of Lao, Faculty of Engineering, Mr. Kamla Chanthavong, a master student of the Environment Engineering Management program is currently studying Sunlabob.

Mr. Chanthavong researches the differences and similarities of reliability and sustainability of renewable based rural electrification systems between the Lao PDR and other countries and the involvement of the private sector, by providing stronger financial incentives and appropriate institutional support.
With this program, Sunlabob improves its internal training and capacity building within the Lao PDR by application of theoretical knowledge in a practical working environment setting.

Sunlabob is the official distributor for SPEEDRITE Fences in Laos & Cambodia


From April 2-4th, Peter Cowsill and Ian Booth from Tern Engineering Pe Ltd in Singapore, South East Asian distributor of the Speedrite range of Electric Fencing material, came to Vientiane to sign a distributor agreement with Sunlabob.
The agreement included a solar fence demonstration at a nearby Jatropha test field operated by the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy, a partner of Sunlabob. The material functioned as anticipated and Sunlabob expects to install its first fence next week.

Sunlabob has been awarded the National Energy Globe Award

Energy Globe Award

Sunlabob is proud to present to have received the National Energy Globe Award 2007 for its innovative energy concepts “Selling electricity in remote villages off the grid – an integrated strategy of Sunlabob”.

The annually awarded prize was handed over at the Plenary Hall of the European Parliament in Brussels. Special guests included former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mikhail Gorbachev, President of EU-Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and many more.

"The ENERGY GLOBE Awards demonstrate that clean and modern forms of energy to drive sustainable development and reduce environmental impacts are available now. I congratulate all the awardees for their commitment to this cause and for their contributions to the work of the United Nations." (Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General)

Light for education in Oudomxay

Oudomxay 1

On behalf of the provincial education department, Sunlabob has installed 25 solar systems for school dormitories in Oudomxay province, the daily available light will allow school children to read and study during the evening hours. As always, such installations by Sunlabob are with a long duration servicing contract that ensures sustained efficiency of the installed equipment over many years.

This is an example how our equipment can further the public interests in social development in remote rural areas.

African trainees in Sunlabob

The implementation of our franchise agreement with TSSD company in Uganda resulted in a first training in Sunlabob. Ramzy Magambo and Ronald Ssesanga from Uganda and Amour Taha Usi from Tanzania have studied the combination of technologies and field procedures of our services that make Sunlabob so unique in delivering sustained solar services in remote areas. The initial technology that is launched in Uganda is the solar lanterns with central charging stations, for which we have also together won the Lighting Africa Development Market prize in Ghana.

Sunlabob and its partner TSSD are proud to have managed to launch such an intercontinental South-South exchange without any support from outside.

Rented solar pump for drip-irrigating mulberries for sericulture in Sekong

Solar pump 1

15 families in the remote southern province of Sekong have entered into a rental contract with Sunlabob for a solar operated pump. With it they irrigate 5 ha of mulberries for raising silk worms. This is a prime example of how our equipment can trigger local income generation. The regular rents allow the community to calculate a fixed regular sum and not worry about saving for amortizations and replacements, something quite impossible in remote areas where banking services are not available. They just pay for their mulberries to regularly get the water they need, Sunlabob takes care of all the rest to make sure it happens.

Wedding couple provided private cooling unit donation to village

Sunlabob has been approached by Grace & Tom, a couple from Australia recently married in the Lao PDR to donate a cooling unit to a village. Sunlabob chose Phakbeuak village in Borikhamxay Province that will not be connected to the grid within next 10 years and where Sunlabob operates a franchise system.

The system was installed according to the wishes of the couple and taken into Sunlabob maintenance program to ensure sustainability of the product and its usage within the village’s health center. From now on, medicine does not have to be transported in ice packs from the district capital and changed every 10 days.

Please also read Tom & Grace’s Thank-you letter to Sunlabob.

Successfull completion of the Global Young Leaders Programme

We are proud to announce the successful completion of the Global Young Leaders Programme with SUNLABOB.

In a very unique program that enabled future global executives to develop solutions for a rural project, 22 participants and 4 supervisors of the Hong Kong based organization Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT) have visited SUNLABOB for one week studying the company operations. The focus was to create a business plan for the new Water Purification project of Sunlabob. Participants were introduced to existing approaches such as the Battery Lantern Rental System, Village Hybrid Grids and Solar Home Systems.

The studies were rounded up by an investor’s conference where the business plan was presented by Young Leader Professionals to a group of local guests from respected organizations, businesses and the banking sector.

Sunlabob wins the Lighting Africa Development Marketplace Award

Lighting Africa

We won the prize! A delegation from Sunlabob and from our Ugandan partner TSSD attended the event for the finalists in Accra, Ghana, where we presented our product and our plans. Our stand with the new solar lamps and recharging stations drew the interest of diverse agencies, particularly IFC, the Worldbank and GEF. The South-South learning that we are achieving here was much appreciated. This is the second time that Sunlabob has won a Development Marketplace grant of the Worldbank, a very rare achievement. We believe this is because again Sunlabob has proven to be spearheading an innovative approach that can break open a big worldwide potential in rural electrification.

So the project that we will be implementing together with TSSD is going to install charging stations in Uganda. This means we will be able to launch this effort with the grant from the Worldbank. We are delighted, as this is an excellent beginning for our expansion in Africa along with our franchised partners TSSD. We are entering a large potential market for our products and services in Africa.

Sunlabob is finalist in "Lighting Africa Development Marketplace"

Sunlabob has partnered up with the Ugandan company TSSD and submitted a proposal for a franchise operation in Uganda for promoting the solar lamps we have developed. The project is called "Recharging Fees can buy Hours of Solar Light". This proposal is now among the finalists at the "Lighting Africa Development Martketplace" that will be held in Accra, Ghana May 5-8. Sunlabob will be attending there together with our partner TSSD. The 20 winners at the Marketplace will be grant-funded by the Worldbank and its partners operating the Development Marketplace. See also:

The event in Ghana will help us a lot in getting a foothold in Africa with our products and services.

Sunlabob casts light on cave in northern Laos

In order to attract more tourists, a spectacular cave in northern Laos has now been equipped with a solar-powered lighting by Sunlabob. Funding for this installation has been provided by the ADB tourist programme.

Sunlabob sees a huge potential in energy-efficient high-tech LED products for developing new tourist attractions in Laos.

Upgrade training of first group of franchisees

Upgrade training

A further upgrade training for the first group of our franchisees took place in the Sunlabob headquarters. The training covered technical issues and the introduction of a new charge controller which allows internal monitoring of every single system. The franchisees also received an upgraded training for installation practices. Furthermore, a new operative system for the franchise system has been introduced and trained. With the new operative system considerable financial risk is shifted from the mother company to the franchisees.

These upgrade trainings will be continued in the future with our other franchisees.

Solar power for education service

Namtha 1

Sunlabob has installed solar energy systems in 30 village schools in Luang Namtha province in northern Laos. The public installations were co-financed by the families of the villages who covered 25% of the initial funding. The remaining costs of the installations were covered by funds of the EU and the German organization GTZ.
Sunlabob has installed the photovoltaic systems and in order to provide sustainability has trained the local technicians in first level maintenance.
Sunlabob will provide spare parts for the energy systems through our locally based franchisees.

Sunlabob goes to Thailand


Sunlabob has extended its activities to the Kingdom of Thailand through our franchise partner Samui Service Solarpower Ltd., located in Koh Samui, in the southern part of the country. The first projects, which have been located all over Thailand, have already been realized successfully.

While our focus in the Lao PDR is more on rural electrification, the market in Thailand will be more focused on promoting solar water heating and energy efficiency consulting, both for homes and businesses.

New Sunlabob website launched

Sunlabob would like to welcome everyone to our brand new website.
The new site has a sleek design and is easy to navigate, making it easier for everyone to gain information about Sunlabob. Here’s some information about what you can expect to find on our new site. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, try the Search option, available on every page. Want to get a closer look at a picture? Simply click on it to get an enlarged view.

  • On this page, keep up with Sunlabob’s current events and latest activities. Also, learn more about the various awards and honors Sunlabob has received.
  • Learn about us and our mission under What is Sunlabob?
  • If you’re looking for a system, or a piece of equipment, to purchase for your home, office, or elsewhere, check out our extensive catalog in the Energy Hardware section, where we offer PV systems, solar water heaters, backup systems, LED lighting, and more. If you have a specific system in mind that you don’t see here, please contact us and we can help design it for you.
  • Under Energy Programmes, you can learn more about the various social projects that we continue to implement around Laos, designed to provide affordable energy solutions to off-grid areas. If your organization is interested in partnering with us on any of these projects, please contact us.
  • Peruse our list of Energy Partners in hardware, projects, implementation, and business strategy.
  • Learn about employment and internship opportunities under Energy Jobs/Interns.
  • See our extensive research, development of innovative ideas, and presentations in Energy Concept Papers.
  • Keep up-to-date with news, information, and reports about the national grid and Energy Issues in the Lao PDR.
  • Finally, see our contact information and map to our office, as well as send us an email with your questions and inquiries from Contact Us.

We will continue to update this website, so check in from time to time to see our recent changes.

Solar Electric Fencing

Solar fence

Sunlabob announces that we are now selling a brand new product – solar electric fencing. This is the first time that this product has been available in Laos.
Electric fencing is designed as a psychological barrier to animals, to prevent them from destroying crops or escaping their enclosures. The fence delivers a short, sharp shock to an animal touching the fence, ensuring that they will not touch the fence again, but without causing injury. Solar electric fencing comes in portable and fixed models, is comparable in price to conventional barbed wire fencing systems, has a long lifetime, can be used in any location, and can be used on any animal.
Sunlabob is selling a wide range of solar electric fencing products that can be used for small animals like pigs all the way through to large animals like cows and buffalo.

Energy Efficiency

Climate change has become one of the most important issues facing the world today. Energy production from fossil fuels makes a significant contribution to this problem.

In order to help our customers become greener, and save themselves money, Sunlabob announces that we are now providing a new energy efficiency service. Sunlabob can provide an energy efficiency audit service to homes and businesses, where an assessment is made of current energy use practices and advice offered on how energy use can be reduced. Sunlabob can also provide a wide range of products to make energy efficiency easier.