LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Well-intentioned passion cannot power Myanmar growth

We have been writing about Myanmar’s electricity problems since we started working there. I had not realized that even at this early stage, the energy nihilists are active. They know what they don’t want, but cannot tell what should be done that is practical. In a rational world such people would not be taken seriously, but in our world they are:

The reasons for the delays include strong domestic opposition, including protests by people in the affected areas. This is a lesson in how local communities must be supported, and where inconvenienced, given appropriate help to reskill or resettle. More should have been done in preparation stages for these big hydropower schemes, and could yet be done, for them. But the concern is that even projects that pass local engagement tests now face an uncertain future because of the pressure on government from campaigners who, for all their well-intentioned passion, are hard-pressed to answer how Myanmar will generate the energy to enable the growth it needs.

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