Energy: Myanmar’s greatest challenge

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Myanmar power poleRehashing Myanmar’s energy policy could allow the strategically located Southeast Asian nation to thrust forward its economy, becoming one of the fastest growing in Asia, a joint report complied by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture has concluded.

The New Energy Architecture: Myanmar report, released on June 6, the second day of the WEF conference held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, said that as Myanmar becomes reintegrated into the global economy its energy demand will rise with it, requiring new strategies to leverage its vast reserves of natural gas and potentially lucrative blocks of oil. Failing to utilise its natural resources efficiently would, however, result in the stalling of the economic momentum the country has built up since sanctions were widely dropped in mid-2012.

Stunningly, more than three-quarters of Myanmar’s 60-million people lack access to electricity; mobile penetration is currently below 1 per cent.

“More than 70 per cent of Myanmar’s population live in rural areas, where electrification rates average only 16 per cent. Without electricity and a reliable energy system, Myanmar has little chance of providing basic requirements for health, job creation, and sustainable development,” the ADB noted.

The report suggests that Myanmar’s developmental path can be maintained if the country diversifies its energy mix – now dominated by hydropower – and begins to expand and modernise its electricity transmission grid.

Among the 17 recommendations outlined in the report, a top priority will have to readdress the country’s regulatory policies to begin attracting more investors.

The report also calls for the gradual removal of energy subsidies, as well as promoting a public-private partnership scheme.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Rehashing Myanmar’s energy policy could allow the strategically located Southeast Asian nation to thrust forward its economy, becoming one of the fastest growing in Asia, a joint report complied by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture has concluded.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Myanmar power poleRehashing Myanmar’s energy policy could allow the strategically located Southeast Asian nation to thrust forward its economy, becoming one of the fastest growing in Asia, a joint report complied by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Economic Forum (WEF) and Accenture has concluded.

The New Energy Architecture: Myanmar report, released on June 6, the second day of the WEF conference held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, said that as Myanmar becomes reintegrated into the global economy its energy demand will rise with it, requiring new strategies to leverage its vast reserves of natural gas and potentially lucrative blocks of oil. Failing to utilise its natural resources efficiently would, however, result in the stalling of the economic momentum the country has built up since sanctions were widely dropped in mid-2012.

Stunningly, more than three-quarters of Myanmar’s 60-million people lack access to electricity; mobile penetration is currently below 1 per cent.

“More than 70 per cent of Myanmar’s population live in rural areas, where electrification rates average only 16 per cent. Without electricity and a reliable energy system, Myanmar has little chance of providing basic requirements for health, job creation, and sustainable development,” the ADB noted.

The report suggests that Myanmar’s developmental path can be maintained if the country diversifies its energy mix – now dominated by hydropower – and begins to expand and modernise its electricity transmission grid.

Among the 17 recommendations outlined in the report, a top priority will have to readdress the country’s regulatory policies to begin attracting more investors.

The report also calls for the gradual removal of energy subsidies, as well as promoting a public-private partnership scheme.

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