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Sustainable Electricity Policy in ASEAN

Ichiro Sakata
Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute
Professor, Department of Technology Management for Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering
Professor, Institute of Engineering Innovation, School of Engineering
Special Advisor to the President

We have been conducting research on electricity policy that contributes toward sustainability in ASEAN, in particular, the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Myanmar, an ASEAN member state, suffers from power shortage in the urban area as well as the lack of energy access in the rural areas, with the household electrification being approximately at 30%. It is one of the target countries in the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.

Policy discussion has so far focused on the construction of large-scale hydropower and coal-fired power plants, but these projects are bogged down due to environmental problems. Our project is instead analyzing scenarios to explore the potential of solar power (both centralized and distributed options). The project builds on collaboration with ERIA and communication with stakeholders in Myanmar’s neighboring countries including Thailand. Such communication contributes to regional partnership in order to achieve SDGs.

Currently, we are in a talk with the National League for Democracy (NLD), and have begun exploring how sustainable electricity policy can help resolve ethnic conflicts in rural areas.

  • A roundtable with Myanmar’s ruling party NLDA roundtable with Myanmar’s ruling party NLD
    Credit: Daniel del Barrio Alvarez (Project Researcher)

  • Micro-grid powered by solar PV near Yangon, MyanmarMicro-grid powered by solar PV near Yangon, Myanmar
    Credit: Masako Numata (Project Academic Support Specialist)

Related links

Research collaborators

  • Prof. Daniel Kammen, University of California, Berkeley, The Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL)

Related publications

  • Liu, D., Yamaguchi, K., & Yoshikawa, H. (2017). Understanding the motivations behind the Myanmar-China energy pipeline: Multiple streams and energy politics in China. Energy Policy, 107, 403-412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.05.005
  • K. Yamaguchi, P. Reubroycharoen, M. Sugiyama, D. Wiwattaanadate, H. Yoshikawa, I. Sakata; Cross-border power trade with Myanmar: barriers and their removal from the Thai’s perspective, Int. J. Public Policy, (forthcoming)
  • Sasaki, H., Sakata, I., Seino, M. & Hashimoto, N. (2015, October). Off-grid electrification scenarios for rural electrification in Myanmar. Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES2015), Dubrovnic, Croatia.


Project professor: Hisashi Yoshikawa

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