Report release : Improving Hydropower Outcomes Through System-Scale Planning

An Example From Myanmar

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The report was published by The Nature Conservancy and WWF, in partnership with University of Manchester, McGill University, Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development and CIGIAR's Program on Water, Land &Ecosystems (WLE) with funding from the United Kingdom's Department of International Development (DFID).

The intent was to demonstrate a framwork in which hydropower planning at the river-basin scale, rather than project-by-project, can allow governments to identify a set of investments that will provide the broadest possible benefits and lower possible impacts. The report illustrates the potential value of this planning approach on a sub-basin of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar, the Myitnge River.

Like most countries with significant hydropower potential, Myanmar could be selective in its choice of projects but has thus far not relied on a long-term investment strategy for hydropower development. Some of the initial projects have not delivered full rewards but have underscored hydropower’s risks, including social and environmental impacts and conflicts, delays and cost overruns, and associated financial risks.

The planning approached outlined in “Improving Hydropower Outcomes Through System-Scale Planning: An Example from Myanmar” seeks to overcome these limitations by comparing and identifying a set of investments that work together to meet objectives for energy, water resources, and river health.

 

Myanmar's rivers. Photo Getty Images.

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