Green Power in Shan State: a new step forward

Since 2016, Green Lotus NGO is promoting hydrokinetic turbines technology, for Myanmar and South-East Asia Rivers. This sustainable solution would provide stable electricity to the people while keeping the environment safe.

Our main projects are in Shan State, on the Thanlwin (Salween) River.

To provide an access to sustainable power in Myanmar rural area

The Shan people living along the THANLWIN river are facing many different issues, considering their multiethnic identity and the challenges of a new Myanmar. One of these problems is the lack of electricity power in rural area. In Myanmar, 41% of the people live with no access to electricity power[1] and it is even worse in South Shan state, where only a third of the villages can use electricity[2].

The THANLWIN River, passing through China, Myanmar, and Thailand, is the second longest river in South East Asia. The river provides a lot of resources for the region and is also a main natural resource for many other ethnic groups. Since the last decades, several projects of dams have been approved along the THANLWIN river, with no or poor concertation. In response, there is a strong opposition from the civil society.

Green Lotus Foundation was in Taunggyi, capital of Shan State, on 28/06/2018, to introduce a sustainable solution to produce energy for the Shan people without harming their natural environment and allowing jobs creation and local development. They chose to present a technology innovation that belongs to renewable energy: the “hydrokinetic river turbines”, which is a “run-of-river” system, allowing the implementation of medium-scale solution, made of multiple devices farms.

It is one of the most suitable energy option for the region around the THANLWIN River. Today, we are presenting a very 1st project, located on the Tar-Sang site (at the crossroads of Thanlwin River and National Highway 45), which is the 1st one where we made some pre-feasibility studies, including visits and hydrology measurements.

This project has received the interest or the support of all the different stakeholders: Union and Regional authorities, Myanmar and Shan business sector, local people and civil society.

Green Lotus NGO (France&Myanmar) and DWR/Achelous Company (UK)

On the day of the Conference, June 27th, 2018, around 100 people attended in “the Conference hall” of Taunggyi, representing all parts of Shan state people: government parliament, civil society, ethnic groups, business, medias, expert, administration. Notably, Shan CSOs of the “Thanlwin Protection Network” were present, and very active in the debate.

Everybody was seeking knowledge about this new hydraulic technology and were to ask questions about the impact of this kind of project, on social, economic, and environmental scale.

Mr Jean-Marc BRULE, chairman of Green Lotus, took time to detail the technical aspects of this 1st project in Shan State, on Tar-Sang site.

Green Lotus is a French NGO based in Myanmar, that is currently working on finding solutions for a sustainable development in the different regions of Myanmar. The Green Lotus team not only take actions in various projects from waste management to local development but is also focusing on implementing green renewable energy in partnership with HydroQuest, and other companies.

DWR/Achelous is a UK company creating renewable energy solutions by using hydrokinetic power, on sea, tide and rivers. They have already tested devices here and there (including one on Yangon River), and now want to introduce their expertise worldwide, starting in Myanmar.

Hydrokinetic Farms, a solution for Myanmar rivers

DWR/Achelous Company designed a technology that can provide electricity to a village of 1000 people (one device) to 300 000 people (if connected to a farm of 8 MW, like in Tar-Sang site).

The hydrokinetic river turbine is a technology which generates electricity from the rivers’ speed. The metallic floating barge has several very strong turbines and is highly productive (up to 80% of capacity factor). This is more powerful and safe than a lot of other energy technologies and is clearly aimed at replacing all the diesel generators plants, polluting and costly.

It is clearly a medium scale solution, providing electricity at a regional scale. After a recent study, it appears that Myanmar is one of the biggest potential for this kind of technology on earth (10th potential after big countries like China, India, Brazil etc.). That is why this 1st project has been studied on the Thanlwin river which has very fast speed at many locations, all along its way through Myanmar.

Moreover, the technology is predictable, regular and cheap. It also mostly helps the local development, and therefore can help contributing to the peace process in the Shan State.

[1] International Energy Agency (IEA)

[2] Myanmar Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE)