• Yangon Technological University 
  • Yangon University of Economics 
  • University of Yangon   
  • International Water Management Institute 

Myanmar is the largest country by area in mainland South East Asia. It is a country with abundant water resources and great potential for hydropower development. The National Electrification Plan emphasises hydropower as the long-term energy solution to increasing domestic energy demand and low electrification rates. The plan has set a target for installed hydropower capacity to almost triple by 2030. 

As economic development accelerates in the country, there is great potential for hydropower to make significant contributions towards meeting rising demands, however, there remains a considerable number of uncertainties involved in energy network and water system planning. Existing and potential future developments in the sophistication and cost of alternative renewable technologies (e.g. solar PV), environmental and climate changes, and many other considerations means that many potential scenarios need to be explored by stakeholders and policy makers. Holistic planning and integrated water-energy-food environment system assessment is necessary for Myanmar to achieve the optimal sustainable low carbon energy mix now and into the future which will fuel the nations continuing sustainable development.       

The Irrawaddy River basin is a significant hydropower resource and the only river basin in our project to span a single country. There are a large number of dams planned or under construction, with significant investment from China. Development of the basin has been catalysed by a credit of USD 100 million from the World Bank Group in 2014 to enable feasibility studies and development assessments of the basin.  

FutureDAMS, together with our partners and stakeholders in Myanmar, are working to produce tools to simulate and optimise infrastructure investments in the Irrawaddy basin; enabling a holistic assessment of the water-energy-food-environment system and enhancing understanding of the social, environmental and engineering implications of different investment choices 

The FutureDAMS assessment tools aim to facilitate robust system design: maximising the use of existing infrastructure, optimising the expansion of existing assets and integrating the planning of water and energy. Results obtained from simulations with different energy mix scenarios suggest a reduction of electricity cost and carbon emission with increase in hydropower deployment. The assessment tools are accessible online at no cost to the user. 

The FutureDAMS team are building capacity in the region by delivering training to stakeholders, including ministry staff and young power system and water professionals.  

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Header image: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC