- MYANMAR HAS SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL IN THE AREA OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ESPECIALLY HYDROPOWER GENERATION DUE TO ITS LOCATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA NEAR MOUNTAINS THAT PROVIDE HEAVY RAINFALL.
- MYANMAR ALSO BENEFITS FROM OTHER RENEWABLE ENERGIES, AND SOLAR CAN FILL THE GAP AS A BACKUP OPTION DURING VERY DRY PERIODS.
1. Myanmar will become a leader in hydropower generation.
Myanmar benefits enormously from its location in Southeast Asia and the mountainous eastern flank of the Himalayas. This provides abundant rainfall from the Indian monsoon and steep mountain slopes, making it a great location for hydropower generation. The potential for hydropower is immense and could even surpass that of neighboring Thailand.
To truly benefit from its hydropower resources, Myanmar needs foreign investment in its energy infrastructure to build these dams and generate cheap electricity for its people.
Myanmar recognizes that hydropower is one of the best renewable energy sources and that hydropower has a high EROI (Return on Energy Invested). The technology itself is very advanced and provides continuous power throughout the year. This is a great advantage and provides a stable source of energy for Myanmar.
2. The importance of the Silk Road Initiative for Myanmar
For most locations, solar and biomass can be of tremendous benefit. Even if the Silk Road initiative will not reach every place in Southeast Asia, decentralized energy solutions can be very useful in the context of energy diversification and electrification of industry and commerce. China is likely to play a key role in Myanmar’s energy diversification strategy, as part of its Silk Road initiative. We are likely to see increased investment by China in Myanmar’s energy sector in the coming years, as Myanmar is seen as a key state in China’s Silk Road initiative.
This is particularly important because agriculture is a mainstay of the Myanmar economy and biogas can make a massive contribution to energy security in rural Myanmar.
Myanmar can also act as a transit country for various types of energy, especially electricity. In this way, Myanmar can take full advantage of its location between Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.
Myanmar will benefit from the continued growth of renewable energies and will be able to diversify its energy sources significantly over the next few decades. This will gradually reduce Myanmar’s dependence on fossil fuel imports, especially at a time when fossil fuel reserves are declining due to oil spikes worldwide. To round off the energy profile of Myanmar, the country can expand its involvement in regional energy markets and decide to cooperate with other South Asian and Southeast Asian countries on cross-border electricity transmission. Mynmar can supply urgently needed renewable energy to other countries through an international power grid. The Silk Road Initiative plays a key role here.
A major weakness is still the lack of investment in Myanmar’s energy sector. Myanmar still relies on foreign investment and, in many cases, loan financing to build new energy projects. Another important point is that Myanmar is seeking to reduce the cost of implementing such projects in order to reduce overall electricity prices. These problems can be circumvented with the growth of an emerging middle class at home and the further industrialization of the economy.