According to the National Electricity Master Plan, Myanmar Ministry of Energy has defined five supply of expansion process from 2014 to 2035. These feed into a national investment strategy in energy sector infrastructure and form the basis for recommendation on institution building for Myanmar’s future national renewable energy planning.
Myanmar has set renewable energy target, aiming at 9% share of renewables in the total installed capacity by 2030, most of which will be used to advance rural renewable energy purposes. The overall RE contribution to the newly installed power generation capacity (without large hydro) will be 2,000 MW compared to the total capacity of 23.6 GW in the National Electricity Master Plan in 2030. In addition to this amount, 7,405 MW or 31% from the total capacity is set for middle-small hydro power.
Myanmar’s electricity grid has the largest share of renewable sources among the other ASEAN countries. Solar Photovoltaic, wind, mini hydro power, biomass, bio-fuels, and biogas are the renewable sources that are established in Myanmar, as the large hydropower is not considered renewable. Hydropower is the main source of electricity generation in Myanmar with the total resource amounted at 108,000 MW with 46,330.55 MW is the investigated number. From this amount, 231 MW is from small hydro power (<10 MW). However according to the Ministry of electric power, the installed capacity of hydropower in Myanmar reaches 3,251.5 MW and 48,264 kW for small hydropower in 2018. NantKhamKha power station has the largest installed capacity (4.75 MW). Apart from hydropower, solar photovoltaic is the only other RE source existing currently in Myanmar with 5 MW capacity.
The electricity from renewable sources is generated from Photovoltaic, wind turbine and micro hydro with the amount of 10.94 GWh, 0.0016 GWh, and 1.253 GWh respectively in 2015-2016. Traditional biomass is used mainly for thermal energy application such as cooking in households. The final consumption of biomass in 2016 was 9,306 ktoe.
International involvement in development of the renewable energy market in Myanmar will continue to focus mainly on feasibility studies, technology assessment, and renewable energy potential evaluation. Myanmar possesses significant renewable energy resources, for example there is a considerable market potential for solar photovoltaic systems. Currently, photovoltaic panels are imported mainly from Singapore, Thailand, China, and Japan. However, there are still many challenges to overcome to encourage higher investment in this sector.
The Government of Myanmar has not published any official selling tariff, however small rural electrification projects are using fixed monthly fees pre-determined based on the expected power consumption which has been applied for several off-grid biogas or biomass gasification project in Myanmar.
Myanmar also has no specific renewable energy incentives but investors can draw on the incentives provided in the new Foreign Investment Law (2012) which includes tax exemption, and customs duties relief.
The off-grid renewable energy based rural electrification projects can have access to soft loans from domestic financing institutions and international donors. The government also provides some grants for the rural electrification projects.