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“Investing in Growth for More & Efficient Electricity Supply”
The Must Attend Power Event in 2016
Issued last July, the tender was the government’s first since taking office and attracted interest globally. But of the six consortiums that put in a bid, only three were in compliance with the governments regulations stated a government official. Applications have come from within Myanmar, China, other Asian countries as well as the US.
Demand for electricity in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar has grown at a tremendous pace from 1050 mw in 2015 to 1250 mw in 2016 according to Yangon Electricity Supply Board. The country has struggled with numerous breakdowns and hopes are for the planned power plant to alleviate the problem.
As demand for electricity increases exponentially in Myanmar, environmental groups are calling for a holistic systems approach to building out. Myanmar’s hydro power industry is attracting investors and donors from across the globe including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and China.
Systems-scale planning, can help encapsulate sustainability, environment, economic and social concerns into projects’ design, implementation and impact, said Jeff Opperman, lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy’s Great Rivers Program. The approach looks at and guides design and implementation of projects based on a system — such as river basins or lakes — and not as individual projects that are not well-coordinated and which can lead to inefficiencies, conflicts, degradation and missed opportunities.
To learn more about the challenges and potential facing Myanmar’s power industry in its efforts to escalate growth and join the 21st century, attend CMT’s 4th Myanamar Power Summit, Nov 17th – 18th 2016 in Yangon.
Click here for more details.
Solar power plants are an obvious solution to Myanmar’s electricity shortage, where brownouts and blackouts affect much of the country.
As the demand for power surges – doubling every five years in Yangon alone – hopes for an end to electricity shortages are fading fast. The handful of gas-fired and hydropower plants that come into service in the next few years are not expected to provide a reliable supply.
But even if the supply was adequate, unreliable transmission and distribution lines present problems. Stressed by soaring demand, transformers and cables often fail and up to 25 percent of the electricity generated by big, distant plants is lost on its journey to homes and factories.
A coal-fired power plant can be built in three years, while a big hydropower dam takes eight years – and that’s not factoring in delays and cost overruns which are highly likely. On the other hand, solar and wind power generation projects are the least prone to overruns and are much faster to construct. Competent developers worldwide can build solar projects larger than 100MW in six months to a year. Similar size onshore wind projects take less than 18 months.
Solar power can also be used on any scale, from a single module powering a few lights in a house, to several megawatts generated by panels on a factory rooftop. And by adding solar close to where people use electricity, the strain on the overloaded and worn-out electricity grid can be reduced. Prices for solar have also become more competitive – in the last few years the cost of solar modules have dropped 80 percent, causing a worldwide boom in its application.
So what is stopping solar from taking off in Myanmar, where sunshine is plentiful and diesel-generated electricity costs up to US$1 a kilowatt-hour? When coal, gas and big hydro plants pose health hazards and destroys ecosystems, why isn’t solar and wind power the way forward?
The answer is perception and policies. Developers and consumers need to have clear rules and regulations. With grants, feed-in-tariffs and determined effort, the regulatory framework for small projects can be greatly sped up.
Find out more about solar energy and expanding electricity supply at the 4th Myanmar Power Summit on 17-18 November in Yangon.