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Myanmar urged to develop hydropower

Staff writer |
Myanmar has enormous hydropower potential of up to 100,000 megawatts and the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) are helping Myanmar develop a more sustainable hydropower sector, according to the WBG's report.

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Myanmar has enormous hydropower potential of up to 100,000 megawatts, around 30 times the currently installed capacity of 3,500 megawatts if realised, the report revealed.

However, less than 30 percent of households in Myanmar currently have access to electricity, and electricity consumption per capita is among the lowest in the world.

“Electricity is fundamental to reducing poverty and improving living standards for Myanmar's people and hydropower is an important part of Myanmar's energy future – but it has to be done in an environmentally and socially sustainable way,” said Karin Finkelston, vice president for Global Partnerships at IFC.

“Done well, hydropower offers cleaner, affordable and reliable electricity access to help drive economic growth, poverty reduction, and sustainable development.”

The WBG and the IHA are helping Myanmar develop a more sustainable hydropower sector by promoting best practices in technical, environmental, and social standards.

A sustainable hydropower sector will help lessen environmental and social risks while tapping the country's huge energy potential, contributing to economic growth and shared prosperity.

"Around the world, different approaches are applied to hydropower development to make sure hydropower is developed sustainably and for the benefit of all stakeholders. What they all have in common is that it is essential to put a good political and technical framework in place to promote regional collaboration and make projects successful,” said Cameron Ironside, IHA's sustainability director.

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