Gender equality in renewable energy in the Lower Mekong: assessment and opportunities

This white paper authored by SEI for the USAID Clean Power Asia programme aims to illuminate women working in the energy sectors of the four Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, nations as part of a gender and renewable energy assessment. 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.