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Burmese Vice- President Nyan Htun has raised concerns about energy consumption in Burma.
At the National Energy Management Committee meeting in Naypyidaw on Tuesday, he pointed out that Burma still derives 76 percent of its energy from non-renewable resources such as wood and charcoal.
The vice-president added that Burma’s energy consumption is much less when compared to neighbouring countries. This, he said, is indicative of the poverty existing within the country.
Nyan Htun also said that the government is unable to provide people with their basic needs due to the lack of energy access.
In the past, the Burmese government has been accused of supporting foreign energy investment deals in Burma, while neglecting the needs of its own population. Burma has abundant reserves of oil, gas and electricity, resources that form the backbone of major foreign investments in the country. While these resources are exploited for export rather than domestic use, Burma continues to rely heavily upon non-renewable fuels for its energy provision.
A United Nations Development Project report in May 2013 identified a large potential of commercial-scale renewable energy in Burma, such as hydroelectricity, wind energy, biofuels and geothermal energy, which has yet not been tapped into.
The report also listed hindrances such as policy fragmentation, conflicting priorities of the government, and a lack of resources as some of the challenges that hinder access to energy within Burma.
Of late, the Burmese government has welcomed foreign investments to harness energy for local consumption. USA has invested in a solar energy project which will contribute 12 percent of Burma’s electricity demand