Being one of the least developed countries in Asia and with an electricity access rate of only 13% as well as very high technical and non-technical losses (25.1%), Myanmar is in extreme need of improving its energy infrastructure.
Since 75% of the country’s population lives in rural areas, a conventional grid-extension might be insufficient to provide electricity access to a majority of the population. Furthermore, given the challenging topography and the low population density in some regions, extending the conventional grids is not considered the financially most viable solution in rural areas of Myanmar in the foreseeable future.
In order to discuss the challenges and potential solutions related to rural electrification in Myanmar, over 70 representatives from Myanmar, other South-East Asian countries, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE), donor representatives as well as several international experts on rural electrification attended the workshop 'Rural Electrification – International Best Practices and Options for Policy Makers' that took place on 4-5 April 2013 in Yangon, Myanmar.
The workshop aimed at presenting and discussing best practices, particularly from the South-East Asia region, as well as providing recommendations on policy, financing mechanisms, business models and project setup, operation and maintenance, socio-economic aspects and community involvement, as well as capacity building.