Opportunities for Sustainable Power Development in the Mekong

Join for a discussion on how the Mekong Region can meet rapidly rising electricity demand without compromising environmental, social, and economic while coping with the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. This discussion draws on two recent studies which explore power needs across the Mekong region and discuss gaps and opportunities in light of disruptions from the pandemic, drought, and new technologies.

Courtney Weatherby, Apisom Intralawan, David Wood, and Pinida Leelapanang Kamphaengthong will launch two studies funded by the Mekong –US Partnership and Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership (SIP): Lower Mekong Power Developments: Drought, Renewable Disruptions, & Electricity Trade and Economic and Environmental Assessment of Lower Mekong Countries Power Development Plans. Following this, outside experts Nguyen Linh Dan, Rafael Schmitt, Travis Lowder, and Phimsupha Kokcheng will discuss the key takeaways and what they mean for regional energy plans.

Welcoming Remarks

Christy Owen, Country Director for Pact Thailand

Christy Owen is an accomplished program manager with 20 years of experience managing and developing donor assistance programs focused on private sector engagement, sustainable finance, climate change, environmental governance and civil society capacity building. Her full bio is here.

Thomas M. Schmidt, Director of the Regional Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Office for the East & Southeast Asia Hub, U.S. Embassy Bangkok

Bio information to come.


Apisom Intralawan, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand

Dr. Apisom Intralawan is an interdisciplinary researcher and a lecturer of Ecological Economics, School of Management, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, Thailand. His work focuses on ecosystem service valuation, economic assessment, water-energy-food nexus tradeoffs in the Lower Mekong Basin, and capacity building for riparian communities to increase resilience and adaptation to hydropower development impacts and climate change.

David Wood, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand

David Wood has extensive global experience (working in Holland, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, UK and USA) in the oil business and biofuels. He was employed by Shell for over 30 years in business management, project management and manufacturing. Since leaving Shell, he worked as a consultant for commercial biofuel projects, as a lecturer (Business Management) at Mae Fah Luang University and in research teams on Mekong hydropower and regional power plans.

Courtney Weatherby, Deputy Director for Southeast Asia Program, The Stimson Center

Courtney Weatherby is Deputy Director of the Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia Program. Her research focuses on sustainable infrastructure and energy development challenges in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific, particularly food-water-energy nexus issues in the Greater Mekong Subregion. She served as a US-Japan- Southeast Asia Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington in early 2019. Her full bio is available here.

Pinida Leelapanang Kamphaengthong, Program Manager for Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership, Pact Thailand

Pinida has over 15 years’ experience of providing technical support for water quality management to policy makers of the Lower Mekong countries. She previously worked as an environmental specialist at Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, focusing on freshwater issues and water quality modeling. At SIP, she continues to support Lower Mekong countries by matching technical assistance from the US Government and other development partners with needs in the region. Her full bio is available here.

Discussant Remarks

Rafael Schmitt, Senior Scientist at the Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

Rafael Schmitt is a Senior Scientist at the Natural Capital project and the Woods Institute for the Environment. Rafael’s research regards modeling and managing water, energy, and eco-system services provided by the world’s large rivers and their link to global water and energy challenges. Previously, Rafael was a Post Doc at UC Berkeley College for Environmental Design. His full bio is available here.

Phimsupha Kokcheng, Energy Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University

Phimsupha Kokchang is a researcher at the Energy Research Institute at Chulalongkorn University. Her current work relates to the design and implementation of research studies focusing on energy policy, energy economics and new business models related to the transformation of energy systems.

Nguyen Linh Dan, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam

Nguyen Linh Dan is a lecturer at the Department of Industrial Economics, formerly Energy Economics, under Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST). Before joining HUST in late 2020, she spent four years at the Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC), a research institution for the APEC Energy Working Group based in Tokyo. She was part of the renewable energy team, involved in energy demand and supply projection, bioenergy, and low-carbon policy research. Her full bio is available here.

Travis Lowder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Travis Lowder is a Project Manager with the Integrated Applications Center focusing on solar PV policy and finance, DER innovations, and decision support for policymakers via analysis and training. Prior to joining the IAC, Travis served as the head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for a national solar company, coordinating the company’s internal strategy with the dynamics of the external solar market. His full bio is available here.

This event is co-hosted with the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership at Pact and supported by the Mekong –US Partnership.

Part of the Mekong Basin Connect Project
Southeast Asia
Choose Your Subscription Topics
* indicates required
I'm interested in...
38 North: News and Analysis on North Korea
South Asian Voices