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Electricity in Myanmar (Burma) in 2021

Global Ranking: #104
41.9% #76 Low-carbon electricity
47.45 watts #174 Generation / person
340.55 gCO2eq/kWh #68 Carbon Intensity
None Electricity imports

In 2021, the total electricity consumption per capita in Myanmar was significantly lower than the global average, reaching only around 47 watts per person, compared to the global average of 412 watts. The majority of this electricity came from fossil fuels, accounting for approximately 28 watts per person, with almost half of this generated from gas, and a smaller amount from coal. Low-carbon energy sources contributed to nearly 20 watts per person, with the vast majority of this generated from hydropower. Minor contributions came from biofuels and solar power. The low levels of electricity generation in Myanmar could lead to significant effects, including potentially hindering economic growth and development due to lack of reliable power supply. Interestingly, Myanmar does not import or export any electricity with other countries or regions.


Myanmar could significantly benefit from looking to other nations for examples of how to increase low-carbon electricity generation. For instance, Uruguay, a country similar in size and development status to Myanmar, has achieved over 160 watts per person generated from wind power. Likewise, Vietnam, a neighbouring country of similar geographical composition, is pioneering in solar power, generating almost 31 watts per person. Further afield, but worthy of consideration, countries such as Sweden and France have successfully utilised nuclear power to generate over 500 watts per person. Myanmar could certainly draw inspiration from these models, harnessing the power of its abundant natural resources - wind, solar and possibly even nuclear - to increase its low-carbon electricity generation.


From a historical perspective, Myanmar has predominantly relied on hydropower for its low-carbon electricity generation. Development in this sector began in earnest in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with small increments of increased generation occurring nearly annually. Despite a slight drop in the late 1990s, the growth of hydropower surged again in the early 2000s, peaking at a significant increment of 2.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2011. Incremental but steady growth continued into the following decade, with some notable spikes in 2013 and 2017-2018. However, in the turn of the last two years, there was a decrease in generation, indicating potential issues around sustainability, or perhaps reflecting shifting priorities in the country's energy policy.

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2000 to 2021 the data source is Ember.