Australia is helping the Asian region meet its rapidly growing energy demands in a sustainable way.

Australia will provide over $30 million through the World Bank over the next four years to improve rural electricity supplies, reduce power losses in transmission and promote renewable energy in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Australia will contribute $3.5 million to help Vietnam improve the reliability and efficiency of electricity supplies to rural communities and will support the three main power companies in Vietnam to adjust to the reform of the power sector and help achieve the Government of Vietnam's goal of universal electrification.

In Laos, Australia will provide $15 million to help extend electricity supply to 11,500 households in 170 villages; increase to 20,000 the number of households using solar electricity; and install efficient meters to help reduce electricity losses.

In Cambodia, where only six per cent of rural households can access electricity, Australia will provide $12.3 million to help extend electricity supply to an additional 13,000 households and small enterprises in rural areas.

Funds will also be provided to guarantee loans for new investments in renewable energy sources and to provide improved biomass cooking stoves to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air-pollution.