Mini solar power farms to help solve Myanmar’s electrification problem

With around half of Myanmar’s population having no access to electricity, the country’s energy ministry is coming up with new solutions to solve the power problem: independent solar farms which can be installed directly in remote communities, rural areas and islands which a far away from any power grid.

The department of rural development under the agriculture ministry has been tasked with off-grid electrification with the support of the World Bank and private companies. Most of the decentralised solutions are solar mini-grids as the private sector sees solar energy as a potentially commercially viable solution in Myanmar’s journey towards full electrification.

One example is a $1.6-million mini-grid installed in December on the island of Yesagyo in Magway region which provided to electricity for the first time to more than a thousand households. The project was partly funded by the World Bank and Myanmar firm Parami Energy.

Mandalay Yoma Energy also sees the potential in the sector and operates over 40 solar hybrid mini-grids Myanmar. It is a joint venture between French Engie Group’s GDF International SAS and Singapore-based consultancy Sol Partners.

Vast potential for solar energy in Myanmar

The rising business interest in Myanmar in solar mini-grids reflects the vast potential of solar energy in the country, as well as the role solar panels could play in bridging the nation’s energy deficit.

Myanmar’s national electrification plan aims to provide access to electricity to three-quarters of the population by 2025, and complete electrification by the end of this decade. The scheme is supported by $400 million worth of loans by the World Bank.

The advantages of solar farm are that both investment cost and operating cost on a kilowatt hour-basis are cheaper, resulting in overall cheaper power prices for solar power. A significant increase in tariffs for conventional electricity last July made solar solutions an even more cost-effective proposition in the country. Companies, especially manufacturers, have shown more interest in installing solar panels.

Compared to neighbouring countries, Myanmar stands out with the highest technical solar potential at 26,962 megawatts per year, a 2015 report by the Asia Development Bank suggests.

With around half of Myanmar’s population having no access to electricity, the country’s energy ministry is coming up with new solutions to solve the power problem: independent solar farms which can be installed directly in remote communities, rural areas and islands which a far away from any power grid. The department of rural development under the agriculture ministry has been tasked with off-grid electrification with the support of the World Bank and private companies. Most of the decentralised solutions are solar mini-grids as the private sector sees solar energy as a potentially commercially viable solution in Myanmar’s journey towards full...

With around half of Myanmar’s population having no access to electricity, the country’s energy ministry is coming up with new solutions to solve the power problem: independent solar farms which can be installed directly in remote communities, rural areas and islands which a far away from any power grid.

The department of rural development under the agriculture ministry has been tasked with off-grid electrification with the support of the World Bank and private companies. Most of the decentralised solutions are solar mini-grids as the private sector sees solar energy as a potentially commercially viable solution in Myanmar’s journey towards full electrification.

One example is a $1.6-million mini-grid installed in December on the island of Yesagyo in Magway region which provided to electricity for the first time to more than a thousand households. The project was partly funded by the World Bank and Myanmar firm Parami Energy.

Mandalay Yoma Energy also sees the potential in the sector and operates over 40 solar hybrid mini-grids Myanmar. It is a joint venture between French Engie Group’s GDF International SAS and Singapore-based consultancy Sol Partners.

Vast potential for solar energy in Myanmar

The rising business interest in Myanmar in solar mini-grids reflects the vast potential of solar energy in the country, as well as the role solar panels could play in bridging the nation’s energy deficit.

Myanmar’s national electrification plan aims to provide access to electricity to three-quarters of the population by 2025, and complete electrification by the end of this decade. The scheme is supported by $400 million worth of loans by the World Bank.

The advantages of solar farm are that both investment cost and operating cost on a kilowatt hour-basis are cheaper, resulting in overall cheaper power prices for solar power. A significant increase in tariffs for conventional electricity last July made solar solutions an even more cost-effective proposition in the country. Companies, especially manufacturers, have shown more interest in installing solar panels.

Compared to neighbouring countries, Myanmar stands out with the highest technical solar potential at 26,962 megawatts per year, a 2015 report by the Asia Development Bank suggests.

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