New market analysis shows high potential for sustainable, successful mini-grid solutions for electrifying Myanmar

June 3, 2019

As part of ongoing efforts to bring electricity to every household and business in Myanmar, Smart Power Myanmar, a national platform with a mandate to advance a modern energy ecosystem in country, today released a comprehensive Market Assessment that for the first time sheds light on the potential for distributed energy solutions in Myanmar, and helps identify key recommendations for investors, developers, development agencies and policymakers to accelerate access to energy and the means to use it productively.

The report comes at a much-needed time. Universal access to energy is among the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and in 2015 the government of Myanmar formulated a National Electrification Plan with the goal of 100 percent electrification by 2030. However, only 42 percent of households in Myanmar are currently connected to the electricity grid.

Smart Power Myanmar’s Decentralized Energy Market Assessment demonstrates that solutions such as mini-grids can play a crucial role to bring reliable power to off-grid households and businesses in Myanmar while grid electrification progresses. Mini-grids are in many cases cheaper and faster than grid electrification and, unlike solar home systems, can be integrated into the main grid and have the capacity to supply businesses and larger commercial loads such as telecoms towers. This means mini-grids can also play a key role in Myanmar’s socio-economic development, including boosting business activity, incomes, living standards, utilization of public infrastructure, and yield health, education and environmental benefits.

“We are committed to expanding energy access and use across Myanmar through the creation of a viable, decentralized renewable energy ecosystem. This report sheds important light on how we can achieve this goal, which would help make a marked dent in economic poverty in the country,” stated Richard Harrison, CEO of Smart Power Myanmar.

However, the market assessment notes, current mini-grid deployment is not commercially viable without financial support. The report recommends five key measures that when combined could trigger in the short term a potential market of up to 2,300 mini-grids covering approximately 2 million people:

  • Introduce financing schemes targeting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to purchase electrically-powered equipment and provide technical assistance to SMEs for connecting to the mini-grid.
  • Introduce a two-step loans and energy payment guarantee schemes increase access to finance for mini-grid development.
  • Promote grid integration models through both regulatory reform and ESCO engagement in order to enable investment in mini-grids under the NEP (Myanmar’s national electrification plan).
  • Promote competition and higher technical standards by streamlining and pooling key processes and by supporting market concentration.

Read the full report here.


About Smart Power Myanmar – Launched in 2018, Smart Power Myanmar is a national platform managed by Pact and financed by The Rockefeller Foundation. Smart Power Myanmar’s goal is to help advance a modern energy ecosystem in which decentralized renewable energy coexists and complements the national grid, working hand-in-hand with private developers so that rural households and businesses can access and afford reliable energy, and can use it productively to thrive. Smart Power Myanmar advocates for systematic change, delivers innovative financing and community development solutions, helps attract and support investors and developers, and designs and produces open-source and vital research to inform decision-making. Smart Power Myanmar’s Founding Members include The Rockefeller Foundation, The World Bank, USAID and Yoma Strategic Holdings.

About Pact – Pact is the promise of a better tomorrow for communities challenged by poverty and marginalization. We serve these communities because we envision a world where everyone owns their future. To do this, we build systemic solutions in partnership with local organizations, businesses and governments that create sustainable and resilient communities where those we serve are heard, capable and vibrant. On the ground in nearly 40 countries, Pact’s integrated, adaptive approach is shaping the future of international development. Visit us at

Media Contacts:

  • Molly Derrick, Director, Integrated Communications, Pact, @email, (202) 466-5666
  • Richard Harrison, CEO, Smart Power Myanmar, @email, 95-(0)99-7725-9977