The Director of the Energy Policy and Planning Office (NEPA) has unveiled the latest insights into the energy landscape, revealing a 2.5% increase in overall primary energy consumption during the first half of 2023. This upswing, reaching 2,059 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, aligns closely with the ongoing domestic economic revival, driven by heightened oil and natural gas usage.
The utilization of oil experienced a notable uptick of 3.4%, while natural gas consumption surged by an impressive 7.0%. The increased adoption of natural gas, both as an automotive fuel and for electricity generation, harmonized with the surging electricity demand within the thriving tourism and service sectors.
In contrast, hydropower and imported electricity witnessed a 10.7% decrease, mainly attributed to diminished hydropower imports due to drought-related challenges. This scarcity of water above the dams in Laos led to reduced coal and lignite utilization in both electricity production and industrial sectors, with coal use declining by 7.4% and lignite by 6.3%.
The industrial sector, alongside petrochemical and other industries, saw a 4.0% and 6.1% decrease, respectively, reflecting a global slump in the demand for goods and services. This phenomenon paralleled a 4.6% reduction in the Industrial Production Index (MPI) for the first half of the year when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Electricity consumption within the industrial sector retreated by 3.8% due to the worldwide economic slowdown, impacting exports and production of goods. Conversely, the household sector recorded a 4.8% increase in electricity use, while other sectors, including non-profit organizations involved in water pumping for agriculture and temporary electricity, along with public electricity, surged by 10.5%.
In 2023, the peak electricity demand occurred on May 6th, reaching 34,827 MW at 9:41 p.m., marking a 5.0% increase compared to the previous year’s highest electricity demand across the three Electricity Authority systems.
Looking ahead, the primary energy demand for 2023 is projected to reach 2,033 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, reflecting a 2.1% increase. Anticipated figures indicate oil usage at 836 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, rising by 3.2%, while natural gas consumption is also expected to hit 836 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, with a similar 3.2% increase. Furthermore, expectations include 813 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day for coal and lignite, representing a 5.4% decrease. The demand for electricity in 2026 is estimated to reach 201,913 million units (GWh), reflecting a 2.4% rise.
Despite these promising indicators, NEPA continues to closely monitor the nation’s economic outlook, global economic trends, and energy prices. This vigilance is part of a proactive approach to identify and implement strategies and measures that can support citizens during potential future energy crises.