Myanmar's energy poverty has significantly hindered the economic and human development in the country. 66% of total population lives in rural areas, but Myanmar's national grid is concentrated in urban low-land areas, limiting the energy access amid rural populations. Although conventional rural electrification projects have largely deployed diesel generators for their low upfront cost, this study demonstrates the economic competitiveness of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and solar energy in enhancing rural energy access. Contrary to the conventional belief that these relatively new technologies are exorbitant options for low income groups, this study provides a practical solution for the leap-frogging of developing countries by proving that enhanced energy efficiency can offset the high upfront-cost of new technology options. This study compares performance among various energy configurations using HOMER and examines economic aspects of each option. For simulation, three load scenarios are designed and used to better reflect different local energy demands in rural villages. Findings confirm that a hybrid smart grid system maintains its economic and technical competitiveness under changing load conditions, while diesel based power generation is still necessary to ensure stable power supply. Finally, cost comparison with a grid extension option which the government of Myanmar is currently pursuing under its National Electrification Plan will reaffirm that the country should consider extensive adoption of sustainable energy technologies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment