Myanmar identified four main drivers for its energy policy framework:

  1. to maintain energy independent,
  2. to promote utilization of renewable energy,
  3. to promote energy efficiency,
  4. to promote use of alternative fuels.

There are several ministries that are working on energy sector in Myanmar. Ministry of Energy focuses primarily on exploration and production of oil and gas. Ministry of Forestry is responsible for biomass utilization planning. Parts of renewable energy development are within the scope of Ministry of Science and Technology. Coal mining is regulated by Ministry of Mines. The Electricity Act of 1948 (with amendment in 1967), the Myanmar Electricity Law, and the Electricity Rules (1985) are major regulations for electricity sector in Myanmar. Two ministries are responsible for the power sector: Ministry of Electric Power No. 1 (MOEP1) and Ministry of Electric Power No. 2 (MOEP2). The main responsibility of MOEP1 is the development of hydropower, which is the main source for electricity generation in Myanmar. The MOEP2 focuses on the transmission and distribution of electricity.

Myanmar has developed National Energy Policy (issued in 2014), that aims to systematically explore the available energy resources of the country to meet the demand of the country and to export value added products for surplus resources; thus, ultimately improving the living standard of the people in Myanmar sustainably. This policy aims to electrify 100% of Myanmar’s households by 2030, which comprises to connecting more than 7.2 million households within 2014-2030. Therefore, the country has to increase its electricity generation capacity to 16.6 GW. Currently, Myanmar has a total installed capacity of around 4 GW within the grid system which is mostly based on hydropower, natural gas power plant, and coal-fired power plants.

The latest available data on Myanmar’s energy sector comes from 2016-2017, as presented in Figure 1 (Primary Energy Supply (2016-2017)). It can be clearly seen that majority of primary energy supply comes from waste and biofuels (51%). Therefore, the share of renewable energy sources in Myanmar’s primary energy supply is rather high (68%). According to the IEA, Myanmar is rich in natural gas resources yet, most of them (79.5%) are exported and only small amount is kept for domestic utilisation in 2016.

Myanmar's Primary Energy Supply in 2016-2017 (%)

  • Oil & Petroleum (3,395 ktoe)
  • Coal (322 ktoe)
  • Hydro (3,395 ktoe)
  • Biomass (10,069 ktoe)
  • Natural Gas (2,433 ktoe)

Source: Minister of Electricity and Energy Myanmar. Energy Policy (B)

The power generation capacity in 2015-2016 is shown in Figure 2 (Share of energy sources in Myanmar’s electricity supply) that amounted to 15,971 GWh. Hydropower is the dominant source in electricity production (69%), while the remaining 39% are shared between various fossil fuels

Myanmar's Electricity Generation by Source in 2017 (%)

  • Diesel (319 GWh)
  • Coal (479 GWh)
  • Hydro (11,020 GWh)
  • Natural Gas (4,153 GWh)

Source: Ministry of Electricity and Energy 2017 Myanmar. Current Status of Myanmar’s Energy Statistics

The electricity tariff in Myanmar is distinguished between the residential consumers and the commercial-industrial sector. Figure 3 (Electricity tariff in Myanmar) presents the electricity tariffs applied by the national grid. The electricity tariffs for residential in Myanmar are generally lower than ASEAN average.

 

Electricity tariff in Myanmar

Source: Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise

Note: Conversion rate for MMK to USD is 0.00064 (as of September 2018)

 

The electricity tariffs in both sectors depend on the consumption level. For residential consumers, the tariff increases as the consumption level increases while for the commercial-industrial sector, the tariff increases until 50,000 KWh consumption. For higher consumptions the rate is then reduced.

Electrification in Myanmar is the focus area that requires an urgent development. According to Myanmar Ministry of Energy in 2018, the electrification rate of Myanmar is only at 41.82%. This implies that around 36 million people remain without access to electricity. Yangon city has the highest electrification ratio of approximately 78%, followed by Kayar (46%), Mandalay (40%), and Nay Pyi Taw (39%) the capital city.

X