Only 50% of households in Myanmar, one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, are connected to the public grid. Five years ago, the government set a goal of electrifying 100% of the country by 2030.
With that in mind, in June, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, together with Smart Power Myanmar and supported by Chevron with a $250,000 grant, launched a pilot program to work with early and growth stage mini-grid developers expanding access to energy in rural and off-grid communities.
Called the Mini-Grid Accelerator, the five-month program recently wrapped up with 13 entrepreneurs.
Mini-grids combine generation assets with distribution grids able to supply off-grid power to villages or townships. Typically mini-grids have generation capacity between 10 kW to a few hundred kW, although some larger mini-grids supply power to entire townships in Myanmar.
For Miller, the program combines two areas of focus—women’s economic empowerment and