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Title: Hydropower development in Myanmar and its implications on regional energy cooperation

 

Author: Mirja Kattelus; Muhammad Mizanur Rahaman; Olli Varis

 

Addresses:
Water and Development Research Group, Aalto University, FIN-00076 Espoo, Finland
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Asia Pacific, Dhaka-1209, Bangladesh
Water and Development Research Group, Aalto University, FIN-00076 Espoo, Finland

 

Journal: Int. J. of Sustainable Society, 2015 Vol.7, No.1, pp.42 - 66

 

Abstract: This paper analyses the current status of hydropower development in Myanmar and its role in strengthening regional energy development and cooperation. Myanmar's water sector is facing intensive changes as the country's abundant water resources provide substantial scope for development. Several plans are underway to tap the country's vast hydropower potential and to achieve economic growth through increased hydro electricity exports. Factors driving intensive water resources development are: policies seeking energy security, economic growth in the region, the resulting energy demand growth as well as opening of Myanmar's economy for investments. The development plans provide many opportunities for economic development and regional cooperation, but also for accelerated natural resources extraction and socioeconomic inequity. This paper concludes that in the face of intensifying hydropower cooperation, improved national level water governance in Myanmar as well as an integrated regional hydropower plan would support sustainable regional energy cooperation and ensure shared benefits and responsibilities from the cross-border hydropower development.

 

Keywords: Myanmar; water resources; hydropower development; regional cooperation; cross-border development; regional energy cooperation; regional development; economic growth; hydroelectricity exports; energy security; energy demand; investment; socioeconomic inequity; integrated regional planning; hydropower planning.

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJSSOC.2015.068071

 

 

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