A 2014 World Bank article found that 84 percent of households had no electricity connection. At the same time, rural villagers are connecting to modern technologies and looking to generate a steady supply of power.
According to Myanmar’s 2014 census, about 178,000 households used private water mills as a primary source of lighting, while 945,000 used solar and 1 million used diesel generators. Diesel generators are expensive to run, making renewable sources more appealing in poor villages. Less sophisticated sources of light, like candles and lamps, used to be prevalent in poorer households, but they are a fire hazard in huts made of wood or bamboo.
Myanmar (Burma) was economically isolated until just a few years ago, and its first democratically elected president took office in 2016. The country does not have laws governing the rural, off-grid power production or a system of support for the burgeoning DIY power industry. In partnership with the World Bank, Myanmar’s National Electrification Plan (NEP) aims to bring power to all citizens by 2030, but the government overwhelmingly favors expanding the coal-powered grid.