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Industry Background

Myanmar is the largest natural gas exporter in the region, with over 90% of its output being exported to Thailand and China. The country has an abundance of oil, gas, coal, hydropower and renewable sources. A crucial driver for GDP growth has been the country's largest export commodity, natural gas. Growing industrial demand, together with the vast infrastructure development, have lifted Myanmar towards being one of the most promising energy markets in the region.


Currently, Myanmar has 3,033 MW of installed hydropower capacity, out of an estimated potential of over 100,000 MW. In April 2017, the current government issued a statement saying that a further 6,270 MW of electricity will be generated by 20 new and upcoming hydropower projects. Until 2012, other types or renewables, such as solar PV, contributed only to a small degree to the electricity production. However, solar PV has been projected to have the potential to reach 5% of the total electricity production by 2030.


Myanmar has a total installed power generating capacity of around 5 GW, which is the lowest total installed capacity of all of the countries discussed in this report. However, Myanmar has the highest share of renewable energy in the overall mix compared to the other countries. It's electricity mix consist mostly of hydropower, with around 3 GW of operating hydropower generation capacity. Besides that, Myanmar only produces energy from fossil fuels, namely natural gas (1.8 GW) and coal (120 MW). The country's substantial gas, oil and coal reserves provide it with the resources it needs to be able to produce one thirds of its energy from domestically harvested fossil fuel sources. Most of the installed capacity comes from on-grid sources, but there are some small hydro installations and diesel generated capacity that operate off-grid.


One of the projects under construction is Green Earth Power's 220 MW project in Myanmar's Magway region, on which work has started for the first 50 MW phase of the project.


In May 2017, the country's Ministry of Electricity and Energy reported that - at that time - there was a planned utility- scale PV project pipeline totaling 1.5 GW. The pipeline consisted of 5 projects ranging from 10 MW to 880 MW of capacity. Two of those projects will be developed in the Nay Pyi Taw region, while the other projects are envisioned for the Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing regions. This shows that the on-grid and off-grid solar markets in Myanmar are still growing, fueled by a vast untapped potential due to the country's high solar irradiation levels.