Union of Myanmar (2012)

Source: REEEP Policy Database (contributed by SERN for REEEP)

This policy & regulatory overview is not updated anymore since 2015. We decided to keep it online due to high demand but would like to make you aware of the fact that it might be outdated.

Energy sources

Total installed electricity capacity (2008): 1.84 GW.

Total primary energy supply (2008): 15,699 ktoe
Comb. Renew. and Waste (Primary solid biomass): 66.8%
Gas: 20.7%
Oil: 9.4%
Hydro: 2.2%
Coal/peat: 0.9%

The total produced electricity in 2008 was 6,622 GWh. By source, the largest portion of 4,028 GWh was generated from hydro, followed by 2,362 GWh by gas and 232 GWh by oil. The domestic consumption of electricity was 4,737 GWh.

As of the end of March 2005, Myanmar had a total of over 1.335MW installed generating capacity of electric power, according to official statistics. The installed hydropower capacity was 360.32MW, constituting about 31% of total installed power capacity. In 2008, biomass had the largest installed renewable energy capacity of 18.1942 MW, followed by mini hydro of 8.3530 MW, biogas of 1.5993 MW, wind of 0.5194 MW and Solar of 0.1157 MW.

Wood fuel is the main source of domestic energy in Myanmar.

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Myanmar produces petroleum and natural gas. In 2002 Myanmar was a major exporter of natural gas, however, an importer of crude oil and petroleum products.  According to the official statistics, electricity imports and exports were zero in 2007.

In 2008, Myanmar produced 10,464 ktoe from natural gas, of which 7,215 ktoe was exported, and 816 ktoe from coal and peat, of which 678 ktoe was exported. It also generated 1,011 ktoe from crude oil, of which 41 ktoe was exported, but imported 643 ktoe of oil products.  

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Extend network

According to the IEA, in 2006 no more than 11% of the population was connected to the electricity grid. That would leave over 45 million people without grid electrification.

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Capacity concerns

Increasing private sector participation in all the manufacturing and services sectors has boosted energy demand. Therefore, the government had to take several measures to reduce this demand such as Dry Days for government vehicles, obligation of all government institutions to monitor and reduce their electricity and fuel usage.

In general, there are many constraints in the generation and distribution of electricity.

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Renewable energy

The hydropower potential of the country is estimated to be more than 100,000MW. Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise ("MEPE") under the Ministry of Electric Power has identified more than 200 potential hydropower sites throughout the country which has a total installed capacity of 38.000MW.

Wind energy
Potential wind energy of Myanmar is around 365.1 terrawatt hour per year. Due to expensive initial cost, wind energy is implemented only as an experimental and research phase.

Solar energy
Measurements indicate that radiation intensity of more than 5 KWh/m2/day is available during the dry season but the use of solar energy is also at an initial stage.

Geothermal energy
Myanmar has abundant geothermal resources. A total of 93 geothermal locations have been identified throughout the country.

Biogas energy
Since 1980 biogas generation is being implemented in order to substitute fuel wood scarcity in Central Myanmar region. In addition, Jatropha Curcas plants have been grown to use the oil as an alternative fuel, and 7 million acres will be planted by 2011. The programme to produce Bio-ethernol and Bio-diesel as alternative fuel in the transport sector is also ongoing. 

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Energy efficiency

Measures are taken to control deforestation due to wood fuel consumption and ways and means are being implemented to utilise improved cook stoves that have 10-25% efficiency over traditional open fire stoves that have an efficiency of 5-15%.

In 2008, Myanmar’s total final energy consumption was 14,038 ktoe. The residential sector consumed the largest portion (10,026 ktoe), followed by the industrial sector (1,445 ktoe), the transport sector (1,114 ktoe), non-energy use (248 ktoe) and the commercial and public services (79 ktoe). By energy source, combustibe renewables and waste contributed the largest portion of consumption (10,081 ktoe), followed by gas (2,040 ktoe), oil (1,372 ktoe), electricity (407 ktoe) and coal and peat (137 ktoe).

According to official statistics, during 2009-2010, 28% of the total energy consumption is contributed by commercial energy such as oil, natural gas, coal and hydropower. The balance utilisation of different energy types have all along been emphasised and increased production of commercial energy has been prioritised in order to replace traditional energy types and at the same time to meet the requirement of industrial development programme.

The total energy consumption during 2000-2001 was 21,916 ktoe and increased to 26,882 ktoe during 2009-2010. The average growth rate of total energy consumption is in the order of 2.64%. For petroleum product, the consumption compared from 1,648.4 ktoe in 2000-2001 to 1,245.26 ktoe in 2009-2010. Natural gas consumption increased from 381.33 ktoe in 2000-2001 to 641.68 ktoe in 2009-2010 with an average growth rate of 4%. Hydroelectricity increased from 254.62 ktoe in 2000-2001 to 389.52 ktoe in 2009-2010 with an average growth rate of 35%. Coal consumption increased from 84.67 ktoe in 2000-2001 to 246.74 ktoe in 2009-2010. Biomass increased from 723.45 in 2000-2001 to 9,665.1 in 2009-2010.

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Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), the Myanma Petroleum Products Enterprise (MPPE) and the Myanma Petrochemical Enterprise (MPE) are 100% state owned enterprises. The MOGE is in charge of exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, transportation of crude oil to refineries and supply of natural gas to Power stations, Urea Plants, Methanol Plant, LPG Plants, Cement Mills and other factories. The MPE operates refineries, Urea Fertilizer Plants, LPG Plants and Methanol Plant, and produces and transports crude oil and petroleum products. The MPPE is responsible for marketing and distribution of petroleum products. It can safely be assumed that the electricity production and distribution is also state owned, although no documentation could be found.

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As all major companies are state owned, no competition is expected in the power generation sector. In off-grid areas, there might be providers of electricity or household electricity production technologies (e.g. diesel genset, pico-hydropower), although no online information was found.

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Energy framework

Some apparently still relevant laws and policies are:

  • Myanmar Electricity Law (1984)
  • Electricity Act 1948 (as amended in 1967)
  • Electricity Rules (1985)
  • The Petroleum Act (1934) and
  • Petroleum Rules of 1937 (as amended in 1946)
  • National Environment Policy (1994).

The Energy Policy is stated as: to maintain the status of energy dependence; to promote wider use of new and renewable sources of energy; to promote energy efficiency and conservation; and to promote use of alternative fuels in household.

Myanmar has formulated and adopted Myanmar Agenda 21, published by the National Commission for Environmental Affairs (NCEA), with the general aim of facilitating the integration of environmental and sustainable development consideration.

In 2009, the country has launched the National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS), which covers three main areas of Social, Economic and Environmental issues and focuses national effort to achieve sustainable development. 

Myanmar joined Bangladesh India Myanmar Sri Lanka Thailand-Economic Cooperation (BIMST-EC) in 1997.

Myanmar signed an agreement on the established of the ASEAN Centre for Energy in 1998 together with eight other ASEAN countries. PROMEEC (Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Conservation) is a programme coordinated on by ASEAN to facilitate capacity building and exchange of information between the ASEAN countries.

Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Economic Cooperation with six member countries was launched with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank in 1992. Its economic cooperation in energy sector includes: regional power interconnection & power trade arrangements; sub-regional strategy for the utilization of natural gas; and sub-regional strategy for cooperation in renewable energy. The Inter-Governmental Agreement on Regional Power Trade in the GMS was signed in 2002, and the Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC) was created in 2002 to coordinate, promote and implement regional power trading development.

In 2005, Myanmar and Thailand signed an MOU on cooperation in renewable energy and energy saving sectors.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) goals submitted to the 5th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting, held on 20 September 2011 in Brunei Darussalam, state that the country uses TPES as the EE Indicator, and aims at 5% reduction by 2020 from 2005 level and 10% reduction by 2030 from 2005 level. However, the action plans submitted were from 2009 and not concrete. 

Government officials admit the lack of explicit energy efficiency and conservation laws but consider that some existing building regulation implicitly contribute energy efficiency and conservation. An energy efficiency and conservation master plan is under preparation. Barriers for energy efficiency are considered to be: weakness of follow up activities and initiatives to implement EE&C action; need for more training programme for EE&C; need for energy efficiency laws; need for a mechanism to get comprehensive, reliable, accurate energy consumption data of industries and buildings; need for provision of tax incentives programme to industries and building sector to implement EE&C measure; institutional constraints; and financial constraints.

The currently low awareness of EE&C in Myanmar is due to subsidized energy pricing system.

Myanmar ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 25 November 1994 and its Kyoto Protocol on 13 August 2003.

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Energy debates

For the Government of Myanmar, the key issues in the renewable energy sector are as follows:

  • To have adequate information on every type of renewable energy sources
  • To encourage more inter- ministerial and interdepartmental interaction and cooperation.
  • To promote private participation in the development programme.

A proposal from the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Conservation (PROMEEC) proposes a new institutional set up for energy efficiency and conservation measures.

The Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) is collaborating with various Governmental organisations, INGOs, local NGOs, and business organisations to raise the awareness of Energy Efficiency and Conservation. 

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Energy studies

There is very limited information available, let alone up to date. The website of the Ministry of Energy looks good, but the information is very general and outdated as well.  Within it, the Energy Planning Department (EPD) has overall responsibility for Energy Policy Formulation.

Under the cooperation programme between New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan and Foreign Economic Relation Department (FERD) of the Ministry of National Planning, Feasibility Study of Energy Conservation Model Project (ECMP) was launched. Energy conservation measures will be implemented to selected plants and factories after completion of the study.

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Role of government

The Cabinet and National Commission for Environmental Affairs (NCEA) is the main authority for decision-making on environmental affairs and each ministry has responsibilities in each sector concerning energy.

The Ministry of Energy ( is the coordinating body for all types of energy in Myanmar, and in charge of the Oil and Gas sector. The Electric Power sector is divided into the Gas and Hydro Power sector and the Power Distribution sector, and controlled by the Ministry of Electric Power(1) and the Ministry of Electric Power(2) respectively. The Coal sector is under the Ministry of Mines ( The Ministries of Industries (, Science and Technology ( and Agriculture ( are responsible for the Renewable Energy sector, while the Ministries of Forestry ( and Agriculture deal specifically with the Biomass sector. In addition, the Ministry of Construction ( oversees energy usage in building.   

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Government agencies

The National Commission for Environmental Affairs (NCEA), chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is the key co-ordinating mechanism for sustainable development.

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Energy procedure

The EPD has overall responsibility for Energy Policy Formulation within the Ministry of Energy and for the coordination, discussion and negotiation of the Energy Development Programme. It is unclear how the planning procedure works and whether EPD is really in charge.

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Energy regulator

No information was found on the existence of an energy or utility regulator.

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Energy regulation role

The government seems highly involved in energy regulation, although it is hard to substantiate such claims because of the limited availability of information.

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Regulatory barriers

Barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation:

  • Human resources development, training and access to information
  • Leadership at government and ministerial level.
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U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (2011) Country Statistics. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

IEA (2011) Country Information. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

ADB (2008) ‘Developments in Myanmar Energy Sector’, power point presentation by Energy Planning Department, Ministry of Energy, Union of Myanmar, at the Greater Mekong Subregion Second Meeting of the Subregional Energy Forum (SEF-2), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 22 November 2008. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

Ministry of Energy.

UNEP and BCA (2011) Country report on sustainable building policies on energy efficiency in Myanmar. Available from: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

U Nay Aung, Common practice of monthly energy data collection in Myanmar (Rangoon: Ministry of Energy (2010)

ADB (2005) ADB Technical Assistant Report, Project Number: 39594, November 2005, Proposed Technical Assistance – Greater Mekong Subregion Power Trade Coordination and Development. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

AEEC (2011) EE&C goals of EAS countries submitted to EMM5. Available at: [Accessed 11 September 2013]

AEEC (2011b) Action plans for EMM5, September 2011. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]

ESCAP (2010) Country report for Myanmar, power point presentation by THAN OO, Director, Directorate of Myanmar Industrial Planning, Ministry of Industry No(2), at the Regional Workshop on Strengthening Institutional Capacity to Support Energy Efficiency in Asian Countries, Bangkok, 24-25 March 2010. Available at: [Accessed 11th September 2013]
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