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August 22, 2019

Electricity efficiency is a must for the development of the country

The recent rains in some parts of Myanmar have brought relief from the intense summer heat. But, the impact of El Niño is expected to be felt till August, according to weather reports. This means we are not out of the woods yet. With monsoons expected to arrive late, the summer heat is expected to increase to dangerous levels, and at such a time, insufficient power supply can serve as another blow to the people.
With the mercury soaring, people are increasingly turning to air conditioners and electric fans for relief. Meanwhile, the production of electricity has declined in the summer, as the level of water required to generate hydropower has also reduced. The situation has resulted in the rotational supply of power to the people.
Currently, the country is producing power through 29 hydropower stations, 14 gas-fired and energy-from-waste plants, and one coal-fired power plant.
This time of the year, electricity consumption in the country is at its peak.
Myanmar utilized a maximum of 2,350 MW of power in 2015, 2,670MW in 2016, and 2,900MW in 2017. Power consumption surged by 400 MW in 2018, an increase of 12 per cent.
It is reasonable that higher living standards have led to the increase in power consumption nationwide.
A rise in electricity consumption of up to 400 MW within one year indicates the need for bigger and better infrastructure, along with funding for long-term growth and sustainability. Hydropower plants, which require less time to be set up, have proven to be able to produce more electricity than their designs projected.
However, it is the duty of citizens to turn off electric appliances when they don’t use them, as part of observing energy efficiency.
An ‘energy efficiency drive’ is sine qua non for us as we march towards the goal of nationwide electrification by 2030. Currently, only 44 per cent of Myanmar households have access to a power grid.
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy is supplying power to the people at a loss of over K400 billion. The government is trying to expand hydropower plants as they have proven to be more profitable, as they have a lower cost of production and can help manage our losses by producing more at a lower cost.
To develop our power sector, we will have to make persistent efforts for decades. Our people can lend a helping hand by participating in the energy efficiency drive.

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