ADB offers $2m for Myanmar solar

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $2m grant to support renewables development in Myanmar, including plans to build up to 10MW of solar and biomass capacity by 2022.

The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), an entity under Japan’s Ministry of Finance, will work with government bodies such as Myanmar’s Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development to develop a range of off-grid renewable energy projects over the next three years, as part of a $2.2m initiative.

JFPR will initially focus on developing renewables in Myanmar’s Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions, including the states of Chin, Rakhine and Kayah, the ADB said in an online statement.

It will help to install pilot projects and assist in the drafting of policies to spur the development of renewable energy.

Myanmar is currently the smallest electricity market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), with per capita consumption estimated at just 140 kilowatt-hours, according to the ADB. A range of obstacles are holding back development, including financing challenges, the nation’s underdeveloped legal system and a lack of human resources.

However, the country is increasingly drawing the attention of renewable-energy developers.

Last October, the government of Myanmar signed agreements with China Three Gorges (CTG) and Thailand’s Gunkul Engineering to conduct feasibility studies on the development of roughly 4GW of wind capacity. Three Gorges aims to eventually develop up to 1.1GW of wind in Myanmar.

And in May, the Myanmar government secured a $275m deal with PV developer Green Earth Power to build a 210MW PV project, in what would be the nation’s first utility-scale solar plant.