News 2013

Critical role of rural renewable energy highlighted by Sunlabob during World Economic Forum dialogue in Myanmar

Sunlabob contributes to World Economic Forum “New Energy Architecture: Myanmar” white paper and participates in energy-focused roundtable during high-level conference


This week, COO Simon Henschel is representing Sunlabob at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar joining 900 participants from 55 countries to discuss challenges and opportunities in Myanmar and the region.

Henschel is highlighting how and why rural, community-level renewable energy can be an integral piece to national electrification planning in Myanmar, a country where only 1 in 4 residents has access to electricity.

“Myanmar is in an opportune position given that the country is essentially developing its electrification strategy from the ground up,” said Henschel, attending the event as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur. “Renewable energy, particularly in rural communities, can play a major role – economically, socially and environmentally – in the rapid transformation of Myanmar’s energy landscape.”

Sunlabob’s perspective, including best practices and policy recommendations, were included in the World Economic Forum’s “New Energy Architecture: Myanmar” report launched during the event. It is the first ever comprehensive report on Myanmar’s energy sector and includes insights from members of business, government and civil society designed to facilitate effective energy reforms.

Sunlabob’s contribution to the report, “Looking to Laos as a model for off-grid renewable energy”, can be viewed on page 36 here.

During the Forum, Henschel particularly underscored Sunlabob’s experience developing village mini-grids that utilize solar energy and small hydro power in rural communities throughout Asia and Africa. He also discussed the technical, financial and operational elements of Sunlabob’s successful rural energy projects and pointed out takeaways that can be applied in Myanmar.

Sunlabob’s viewpoints were also published earlier in the week in The Myanmar Times in an opinion article by Henschel and Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter. The article can be viewed here.

“With smart planning and a motivated approach, Myanmar can use off-grid renewable energy to begin making meaningful, long-lasting energy progress now,” added Henschel. “The country can leverage its renewable energy resources to enable clean, safe, reliable electricity for the more than 40 million people living without power.