The Asian country of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Myanmar) is bordered by Bangladesh, India, People’s Republic of China, Laos, Thailand, Andaman Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. The population of Myanmar is approximately 54.66 million people
In 2022, Myanmar’s economy was ranked 84th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of petroleum gas (natural gas), dried legumes, precious stones, non-knit women’s coats, and rare-earth metal compounds.
In 2016, Myanmar signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to increase hydropower capacity to 9.4 Gigawatt, rural electrification from renewable energy by 30%, and forested area to 30% by 2030.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 72.5% of the people in Myanmar had access to electricity. In 2021, the state power company, Electric Power Generation Enterprise used renewable energy (41.8 %), natural gas (38.1%), oil (16.5%), and coal (3.6%) to generate electricity in Myanmar. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Myanmar.
Recent renewable energy projects in Myanmar include:
- 40 MW Solar Project – In April 2022, German engineering company, ib vogt commissioned the Letpanhla solar project, which is located in approximately 200 miles north of the nation’s capital, Naypyidaw.
- 30 MW Solar Project – In April 2022, People’s Republic of China solar company, GCL System Integration Technology commissioned the Nyaungbin Gyi solar project, which is located in approximately 150 miles north of Naypyidaw.
- 20 MW Solar Project – In January 2023, Myanmar company Green Power Energy commissioned the Taung Daw Gwin solar project, which is located approximately 100 miles north of Naypyidaw.
In 1982, the state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise made a major natural gas discovery, approximately 37 miles offshore in the Andaman Sea. In 2022, Myanmar was the 24th largest natural gas exporting country in the world.
Natural gas exports are a cornerstone of Myanmar’s economy. In 2021, the export of petroleum gas generated US $3.19 Billion in revenue for Myanmar.
Myanmar has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, offshore wind, geothermal, onshore wind, and biomass. Myanmar’s undeveloped renewable energy could easily replace the fossil fuel (natural gas, oil, and coal), which generated 58.2% of the nation’s electricity in 2021.
Myanmar is now using natural gas export revenue to fund the development of new renewable energy projects. Why? Economics pure and simple.
Myanmar’s government intends to replace the use natural gas for domestic power with new renewable energy projects. The government’s goal is to preserve natural gas production for export. Natural gas export revenue is now funding new renewable energy projects in Myanmar.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.