The United Kingdom will assist Myanmar in implementing renewable-energy projects. a senior UK official said.

Douglas Barnes, director of the UK’s Department for International Trade, made the comment during  a knowledge-sharing workshop for policies and regulations covering renewable-energy use and reducing carbon emissions organised by his agency in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday.

“After the workshop, the governments of the UK and Myanmar will have continuous discussions. From that relationship, policies and regulations will be drafted,” Mr Barnes said.

“When those policies are in place, Myanmar will need technologies and we will provide these technologies. UK businesses will also be invited to invest in the sector in Myanmar,” he added.

He said required technologies, workshops and training will be provided to implement renewable energy projects.

The UK has established a £15 million (K30 billion) fund which will be used until 2020 for carbon reduction, renewable energy and energy utilisations in six ASEAN member states, including Myanmar. Expenses for feasibility studies of wind and solar energy projects in Myanmar will be provided from the fund.

Countries in the region need to cooperate in carbon reduction and promotion of renewable energy, Mr Barnes explained, adding that Myanmar needs policies and regulations in place if it is to meet its carbon-reduction goals by 2030.

“Myanmar can meet its carbon reduction targets but everyone needs to cooperate for this project to be successful,” he said. UK will continue to help Myanmar and energy is one of the country’s essential needs.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE) is drafting a renewable energy law to develop the sector, U Maung Maung Kyaw, Chief Engineer from the Department of Renewable Energy and Hydropower Plants under the MOEE, said in September.

The ministry is aiming to generate 8 percent of the country’s electricity through renewable sources of energy by 2021. By 2025, the target is for 12pc of all electricity generated in Myanmar to be renewable.

The government will prioritise the development of solar energy, followed by wind energy, U Maung Maung Kyaw said.

On the solar front, the state is currently building a plant in Minbu, Magway Region, which will have the capacity to generate 170MW of electricity when it is complete in February next year. The Minbu plant is the first solar powered plant in Myanmar. Operations are expected to commence this month.

Two more solar plants are expected to be constructed “soon,” U Maung Maung Kyaw said. The plants will be built in Myingyan and Wundwin in Mandalay Region and are expected to have the capacity to generate 150MW of electricity each.

Meanwhile, an agreement has been signed for China’s Three Gorges Corporation to develop a 30MW wind power project in Chaung Thar, Ayeyarwaddy Region. It will be first such project in Myanmar. Currently, the MOEE is negotiating terms for the power purchase agreement. Development of the Chaung Thar wind power project will commence after, said U Maung Maung Kyaw.

Wind-powered projects can potentially also be developed in Chin State, Rakhine State, Ayeyarwaddy Region, Yangon Region, Shan State, Kayah State, Tanintharyi Region, Mon State and Kayin State, according to the MOEE.

Myanmar’s push to develop new sources of energy via renewable means coincides with the need to provide businesses ranging from manufacturing to banking with a reliable supply of electricity for further expansion.

The government has also promised to provide the entire country with access to power by 2030.

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