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Home > Main Library > Water, including dams > Water bodies (global. regional) > Human activities in, on and around Burma's water bodies > Assessment of hydropower projects in Burma/Myanmar

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Assessment of hydropower projects in Burma/Myanmar

Individual Documents

Title: Improving Hydropower Outcomes Through System-Scale Planning: An Example from Myanmar
Date of publication: 2016
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "This report examines hydropower development in Myanmar to explore a fundamental challenge: how can governments make informed decisions about infrastructure development that will deliver the broadest range of benefits to their people over the long run? Hydropower provides a clear example of this challenge. For many countries, hydropower is a strategic resource that could increase energy supply at low costs and make important contributions to water resources management and development objectives (potential “co-benefits” of hydropower development and management). However, current approaches to hydropower development often fail to achieve this potential for broad benefits and incur high environmental and social costs. Decisions are often made at the scale of individual projects without a comprehensive understanding of how these projects fit within the larger context of both infrastructure systems and social and environmental resources. Short-term and project-focused decisions are not likely to produce hydropower systems that can fulfill their potential to achieve broad benefits and balanced development. This is because they will be systems in name only. In reality, they are groups of individual projects that are not well coordinated, miss opportunities for more optimal designs, and often cause high social and environmental costs—contributing to conflict and uncertainty for future investment. Most governments do not have a process in place to plan true systems and to strategically select projects that are in the best public interest. We explore two broad hypotheses. First, hydropower planning at a system scale can help governments, developers and other stakeholders find better-balanced solutions with lower impacts and conflicts. Second, countries can adopt system-scale approaches in ways that avoid creating unacceptable burdens or delays. In summary, we propose that a systematic and comprehensive approach to hydropower planning and system design can help countries deliver better development outcomes for their people. We tested these hypotheses by developing an illustrative framework for hydropower planning and investment in Myanmar. HYDROPOWER IN MYANMAR Myanmar is a lower middle-income country with a large deficit in power supply. Only one-third of the population has access to electricity and lack of power constrains efforts to overcome poverty. At the same time, the country has a large undeveloped hydropower potential, estimated at 100 gigawatts (GW), some of which could be used to satisfy its own demand while some could be sold as energy exports to generate revenue for the country. Myanmar’s rivers provide a range of other benefits and resources. Rivers such as the Irrawaddy support productive fisheries, and Myanmar ranks fourth in the world in terms of inland fisheries capture. Nationally, freshwater fish harvests produce over 1.3 millions tons per year and employs approximately 1.5 million people. Irrigation, water supply, and navigation are other importhant uses of the water in the country’s rivers. About 506 freshwater fish species have been recorded within Myanmar, 56 of which are endemic..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Nature Conservancy, WWF and The University of Manchester for DFID
Format/size: pdf (3.8MB-reduced version; 36MB-original
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs22/System-Scale_Planning_Myanmar_Report.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 July 2016

Title: Hydropower in Myanmar: Sector Analysis and Related Legal Reforms
Date of publication: 2014
Description/subject: "The momentous transformation of Myanmar’s political and economic landscape, which began in 2010, has created many investment opportunities, particularly in the hydropower sector. Myanmar is uniquely fortunate to have growing electricity demand both domestically and from its neighbours, eager to buy clean power, as well as a wealth of potential hydropower resources. Rapid economic growth is being experienced across nearly every sector, with a significant focus on energy and infrastructure. According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP per capita in Myanmar as of October 2013 was US$ 1040, an increase of 20 per cent since 2012. In addition, pledged foreign direct investment in Myanmar is also at record levels, exceeding US$ 44 billion in 2013 and showing no signs of slowing."
Author/creator: D. Doran, M. Christensen and T. Aye
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Journal of Hydropower and Dams, Volume 21, Issue 3, 2014
Format/size: pdf (580K)
Date of entry/update: 23 February 2016