Myanmar’s adoption of solar is arguably one of the fastest in history.
This project would also boost the Myanmar government’s goal to increase electricity production from the present 2,500 MW to 30,000 MW by 2030.
The solar PV plant will be built in Taikkyi Township. The construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2017. The project would entail an investment of $20 million.
Ric O’Connell, International Renewable Energy Director at Black & Veatch said, “Electricity is an urgent priority in Myanmar and has serious implications on economic and social progress. As solar facilities can be built rapidly, it is an excellent alternative to quickly add power to the grid and ensure meaningful impacts on quality of life.”
Over 70 percent of the people do not have access to electricity. In rural areas, where the majority of the poor live, only 16 percent of households have access to grid-based electricity. This project would help to provide a major boost to local communities and industry.
Myanmar had a total primary energy supply (TPES) of 16.57 Mtoe in 2013. Electricity consumption was 8.71 TWh. 65% of the primary energy supply consists of biomass energy, used almost exclusively (97%) in the residential sector. Myanmar’s energy consumption per capita is one of the lowest in Southeast Asia. Contributing factors are the low income and the low electrification rate. Energy consumption is however growing rapidly, with an average annual growth rate of 3.3% from 2000 to 2007.
Most of electricity (74.7%) is produced by hydroelectricity. The rest is from fossil fuels, with gas as the main fuel (20.5%) followed by coal and oil. In 2011, Myanmar had an installed electricity generation capacity of about 3,344 MW, with a low electrification rate of 27%. Electrification rate is especially low in rural villages, which are mainly not connected to the power grid. Firewood is used as a primary source of energy in these areas, a contributing factor to the observed decrease in forests in the country.
Solar power in Myanmar has the potential to generate 51,973.8 TWh/year, with an average of over 5 sun hours per day.
In rural areas, photovoltaics are used for charging batteries and pumping water. 70% of the Burmese population of 50 million live in rural areas.