Myanmar Industry Overview

Renewable Energy

Overview

Myanmar has been in the process of setting up renewable energy infrastructures. It has already made significant progress in improving access to modern energy and the share of renewable energy generation in total electricity generation. Myanmar took a latecomer advantage to adopt RE technologies, which demand less investment and are proven to operate reliably. Myanmar did so with a combination of support from social enterprises, CRS programs of international corporations and international development organizations.

Opportunities and Barriers

Myanmar Government is doing its best to improve RE infrastructures and generations and the investments in this sector will be favored. Towards the year 2030, the overall RE contribution to the newly installed generation capacity (without large Hydro) will then be 26.8% or 3,995 MW compared to a total capacity of 14.9 GW. However, the government needs to balance the foreign investments flooding into resource-based sectors and entities becoming more conscious about environmental and social impacts of such projects. Due to this situation, the government’s proposals at the parliament to build coal-fired power plants are likely to fail to garner public support. The government also needs to relax and simply some FDIs regulations related to RE investments since RE projects have been too slow to implement and costly to set up.

Legal & Regulatory Framework

The Myanmar Parliament enacted the new Myanmar Electricity Law in 2014, replacing the old Electricity Law of 1984. The old electricity law was enacted during Myanmar’s socialist period and lacked the legal framework to include private sector participation in power projects and independent power producers. To provide more open opportunities, Myanmar Government is currently inviting partners to implement a consistent and sustainable RE policy. The National Energy Management Committee (NEMC) and the Asian Development Bank have been preparing Myanmar ?s Energy Master Plan (EMP). This plan also considers Renewable Energy options for solar, hydro, wind, and biomass electricity generation both, for grid connection and off-grid applications. The RE Policy follows the National Energy Policy NEP, which was presented early 2014 and provides for the first time an overview of the Energy Sector in Myanmar and the on-going work program. The REP requires further laws and regulations to create a stable ground of confidence for long-term engagements.

Allowed Types of Investment

Investment businesses permitted with recommendation of Ministry of Electricity and Energy are Large scale electrical enterprise (electrical enterprise with capacity to generate more than 30 meg watts according to the Electricity Law) and constructing utility scale solar power plant. Investment businesses allowed only in the form of joint venture with a citizen owned entity or a Myanmar citizen is electricity generation for 30 MW and below.

Sources

  1. Power Sector Development in Myanmar, Kee-Yung Nam, Maria Rowena Cham, and Paulo Rodelio Halili, ADB Working Paper Series, October 2015
  2. Myanmar Renewable Energy Policy, ADB Capacity Development Technical Assistance, September 2014

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