As renewable energy options are increasing in the region, most governments still have unclear policies and incentives regarding their adoption, but nevertheless have set up long-term targets. Driven by the private sector, hydropower and solar energy development is increasing, whereas biomass and wind power sector growth is lagging and remaining relatively smaller in scale.

The policy environment for advancing gender equality and renewable energy is well placed in the region, yet these concerns remain separate. National gender equality plans and commitments have been made by national governments, but they do not go far enough into technical sectors like energy. Thus, it is unclear how governments will include women in their energy transition efforts.

The specific objectives of this white paper are to:

  • Provide an overview of renewable energy sectors in Lower Mekong countries
  • Assess gender issues and gender equality in the renewable energy sectors in Lower Mekong countries
  • Make recommendations for promoting gender equality and gender-responsiveness in the renewable energy sector, and specifically for the USAID Clean Power Asia Gender Implementation Plan

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Clean Power Asia program works with Lower Mekong countries and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to encourage power sector investments in environmentally-friendly, renewable energy (RE) sources. The program specifically focuses on bringing greater quantities of renewable energy into the region’s electricity grids.