News 2013

Myanmar Power Summit turns to Sunlabob for decentralized renewable energy insight

Evan Scandling addresses Myanmar’s electricity sector stakeholders about role of off-grid renewable energy solutions in rural electrification strategy

2013-09-MPS opening

This week, Evan Scandling, Head of Communications, presented at the Myanmar Power Summit in Yangon, Myanmar to discuss opportunities and challenges for decentralized renewable energy solutions within the country’s rural electrification planning.

Scandling emphasized that off-grid, community-level renewable energy can play a critical role within the national energy strategy of the country where about 75 percent of the population can’t access the central electricity grid.

“Decentralized renewable energy can be a significant catalyst of economic and social development for the rural communities left off the grid,” said Scandling during the Summit, which was co-hosted by the Myanmar Ministry of Electric Power.

“Community-based models for renewable energy access in particular can be an effective means of not only providing electricity, but also income-generation and improved health and education services – all of which are vital to sustainable rural development,” added Scandling.

The presentation also underscored the key technical, financial and operational lessons learned by Sunlabob through its rural energy projects in neighboring Laos and other developing areas of the world. Pointing out that many of the previous lessons can be applied in Myanmar, Scandling reiterated that the public and private sector need to equally bear the burden of enabling energy access across the country of nearly 65 million people.

“With the right mix of policies from the Government of Myanmar and an encouraging business environment for public-private partnerships, renewable energy can make a real impact in the efforts to reach those 40 million people off of the grid.”

Sunlabob’s outlook on electrification in Myanmar, including best practices and policy recommendations, were included in the World Economic Forum’s “New Energy Architecture: Myanmar” report, the first ever comprehensive analysis of the Myanmar’s energy sector 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.

Sunlabob’s viewpoints on the importance of decentralized renewable energy were also published earlier in 2013 in The Myanmar Times in an opinion article by Sunlabob COO Simon Henschel and Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter.

The presentation that Scandling delivered this week during the Myanmar Power Summit can be viewed here.