Myanmar’s renewable energy potential – Open source resources mapping for electrification of rural communities

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2018-05-14
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
ENG29
Degree programme
Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering (WAT)
Language
en
Pages
72+15
Series
Abstract
Myanmar has one of the lowest electrification rates in Asia, with a clear disparity between urban and rural electricity access. This has led to an energy inequality within the country with many rural communities depending on traditional forms of biomass or expensive alternatives to meet their energy needs. As a result, Myanmar has developed a National Electrification Plan in which aims to provide universal access by 2030. With the plan relying heavily of a centralised grid network, there exist the potential for long grid connection wait times for isolated rural communities. To address the energy access inequality in Myanmar, many rural communities are looking towards decentralised renewable energy systems, to ensure their energy needs are met prior to grid arrival. This study focuses on the potential for these decentralised renewable energy systems to provide energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydrological resources. This study was undertaken as part of a larger initiative known as the CORE-app, which aims to provide a technical and economic case for the feasibility assessment of the implementation of decentralised energy systems to meet the energy needs of rural communities and achieve the Myanmar Government’s goal of providing universal energy access in the country by 2030. This study was undertaken as phase 1 of the CORE-app process and was primarily concerned with mapping the country’s renewable energy resources at a high spatial and monthly temporal resolution. These resolutions allowed for the assessment of each respective renewable resources energy potential in reference to each village community location. This study utilised entirely open source data sets, GIS and programming software to ensure the methodology and its subsequent results are freely available to the public and for reproduction on other areas of interest. The study found that there exists a high potential for renewable decentralised energy systems, with many areas having multiple applicable resources supporting the notion of hybrid energy systems. The study also developed a village energy potential profile which illustrates the energy potential of over 1000 villages, within the Lashio and Kayaing Provinces, and further established country-wide resource potential maps. With the focus on expanding the grid network to achieve universal electrification, the energy inequality in the country may continue. However, with the establishment of decentralised energy systems, Myanmar has the potential to ensure the continual growth of the country, bridge the energy gap and provide universal energy access to all the population.
Description
Supervisor
Kummu, Matti
Thesis advisor
Kallio, Marko
Keywords
decentralised energy systems, rural electrification, solar, wind, biomass, hydropower
Other note
Citation