News 2013

Lao PDR’s first solar panel production facility launched by Sunlabob

At its headquarters in Vientiane, Sunlabob this week announced that it has established the capability to produce solar photovoltaic modules to generate electricity for use throughout Lao PDR.

“Until now, solar power projects in Lao PDR have had to rely completely on imported products from foreign manufacturers, oftentimes slowing the development process and increasing costs,” said Andy Schroeter, CEO of Sunlabob, which has installed solar energy throughout the country since 2000. “The new manufacturing competence will allow Sunlabob to assemble solar panels on demand that can be customized to each customer’s needs.”

Solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has been used in Lao PDR for many years to provide electricity to rural households, schools and health stations, as well as for practical functions such as water pumping and purification, communications and medicine storage.

The renewable energy resource is also increasingly being implemented in Lao PDR’s urban centers, including the country’s first grid-connected solar installation completed by Sunlabob at the German Embassy in 2010 and a 10 kW solar array at the Vientiane offices of Germany development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in 2010.

“We are excited, but at the same time also realistic,” added Schroeter, noting that despite training, practice and a few cases of project implementation domestically and internationally throughout the last several months, the company will not entirely stop using solar panels made in other countries like Germany, China and the United States.

“We have started small and will grow, just as the use of solar energy began in Lao PDR,” said Schroeter.

In addition to its commercial focus, Sunlabob also will partner in the future with GIZ to utilize the solar production facilities for vocational training and capacity building as Lao PDR increasingly turns to green energy.