Energy Consumption with Sustainable Development in Myanmar

By Khin Yadanar

The energy sector is the totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution. Modern society consumes large amounts of fuel, and the energy industry is a crucial part of the infrastructure and maintenance of society in the world.

Exploitation of energy
The use of energy has been a key in the development of the human society by helping it to control and adapt to the environment and managing the use of energy is inevitable in any functional society.
In the industrialized world the development of energy resources has become essential for agriculture, transportation, waste collection, information technology and communications that have become prerequisites of a developed society. The increasing use of energy brings about a number of serious problems, some of which, such as global warming, can create potentially grave risks to the world.

Discovery of energy sources
Ever since humanity discovered various energy resources available in nature, it has been inventing devices, known as machines that make life more comfortable by using energy resources.
In this time of globalization uncertainty one thing we do know is that the world is in need of energy — and in increasing quantities — to support economic and social progress and build a better quality of life in the country.
But providing this energy around the globe comes with a responsibility and commitment to developing and using our resources responsibly. Commitments should be made to protect both people and their environment, thereby making positive economic contributions.

Reliable and Affordable energy sources
Energy sector enables the productivity and services which can enrich the quality of human life in our modern world. For developing nations like Myanmar, the need for reliable and affordable energy becomes more and more crucial and it can also improve and even save our lives.
Moreover, reliable energy can support the development of industry, agriculture, trading and transportation sectors respectively. Also it can help the people escape poverty and create higher living standard. The majority of the countries in the world use energy which comes from hydrocarbons, with crude oil being the dominant source of transportation fuels and its demands is getting higher and higher.
It is of paramount importance to increase the growing needs of energy consumption including oil and gas because renewables alone cannot meet the demand in the market but all sources of energy are needed to address this problem.

The Yadana Gas project
The Yadana Gas project is one of the biggest gas production fields in Myanmar and is an extension of Yadana gas field, an offshore gas field in the Andaman Sea.
French oil and gas giant Total is the operator of Yadana project with 31.2 per cent interest, while partners own the rest: US Chevron-Unocal is holding 28.3pc, Thai firm PTTEP with 25.5pc and state-owned Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) with 15pc.
This project has been thriving since 1995 and the production started in 1998. Moreover it is still producing with plateau production of 8 billion cubic meters per year.

Energy Sectors in Myanmar
The energy sector plays an important role in the country’s economy, with natural gas providing by far its most important source of income.
However, almost three quarters of the population do not have access to electricity. Building on its abundant natural resources, the authority concerned should find effective ways to bolster its domestic energy infrastructure to power development. Starting from a low base, the country has the opportunity to learn from international experience to find effective solutions that balance the affordability of energy with sustainability and broader access to it.

Environmental Challenges
According to the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, anual need for power consumption of Myanmar is increasing from 15% to 17% annually. In order to distribute electrical power, it needs to implement the Energymix that includes hydropower, coal, natural gas and renewable energy. In implementing the economical hydropower projects, the government is facing some challenges such as environmental issues.

Effective plans should be made
In order to meet the growing power demands of the country, plans are under way to import liquefied natural gas as soon as 2020, and it aims to allay concerns among businesses about electricity shortages.
According to the records, Myanmar has been one of the major natural gas producers and exported to China and Thailand. But power demand has grown steadily since Myanmar overhauled its economy in 2011 to encourage foreign investment.

Production of usable energy
Producing energy to sustain the needs of the country is an essential social activity, and a great deal of effort goes into this activity.
Efforts should be made to increase the production of electricity and oil, and to explore newer ways of producing usable energy resources from the available energy resources. One such effort is to explore means of producing hydrogen fuel from water and though hydrogen use is environmentally friendly.

Endeavors of Ministry for Electricity and Energy
Myanmar has been blessed by its low-CO2 energy which is quite an issue for the country because it is one of the countries which are most affected by global warming.
As for the Ministry for Electricity and Energy, efforts are being made to set up a proper energy policy and effective plans which can be implemented the process and increase the product of energy sector.
Also the Ministry has planned to establish the joint venture projects for laboratory services to analyse petroleum and petrochemical products and certify them in accordance with the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).
Priority should be made to its energy reforms, harnessing the power of the various stakeholders. Ensuring public support in a sustained and sustainable development of its energy potential while attracting the financial and technical capability of investors will be important.
Moreover, public, private and civil society stakeholders must collaborate and partner in concrete initiatives.
Translated by Win Ko Ko Aung

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