Solar system benefiting rural people residing in off-grid areas

Myanmar emphasizes the improvement of the renewable energy sector by generating 60.3 per cent of electricity from hydropower, 35.6 per cent from natural gas and 4.1 per cent from solar, coal and diesel up to the end of 2020. According to the data, a target was set to increase 12 per cent electricity generation from renewable energy in 2025. In so doing, the Department of Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation takes responsibilities for rural electrification in the villages, the off-grid areas.

Rural electrification has been implemented since the 2012-2013 financial year. Up to 2015-2016 financial year, a total of 4,807 villages could be electrified across the nation using renewable energy such as solar, small-scale hydropower and biomass with 30 megawatts of installed capacity. Setting an aim to electrify the whole country in 2030, a US$90 million loan was borrowed from the World Bank through the international development association-IDA loan for implementation of the NEP-national electrification plan (off-grid) in addition to the State budget and contributions of the people.

The small-scale power project based on less than 1-megawatt renewable energy was implemented in the 2016-2017 budget year. During the period from 2016-2017FY to 2019-2020FY, 414,461 households from 9,063 villages were electrified through the household solar system, 59,807 sets of the public solar system installed at the schools, dispensaries, religious schools and lamp-posts, solar, hydropower and paddy husk-fired power facilities at 99 project sites and some 30,085 households from 119 villages.

In the projects, the installed capacity of electrification reached 43.956 megawatts. The projects were implemented with the World Bank loan, the State budget, public contribution, the euro 30 million loan from Italy, euro 9 million assistance from KfW and euro 4.87 million for technical assistance from GIZ and the New Zealand government. Currently, the off-grid electrification project benefited some 2.22 million people. In 2020-2021FY, the household solar system will be implemented to benefit 48,974 houses from 757 villages, while 17 small-scale solar power projects will be undertaken with 4,704 sets of public solar systems.

Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar

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