Report on the Fact Finding Mission on the Management and Recycling of End-of-life Batteries used in Solar Home Systems in Myanmar

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In Myanmar many rural households are not connected to the electricity grid. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 on affordable and clean energy, the Department of Rural Development (DRD) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation is actively supporting the electrification of rural areas in Myanmar. This strategy is supported by the World Bank and KfW and is based on three pillars, namely electrification by network expansion, by mini-grids and by solar home systems (SHS). While this strategy is in many aspects successful, the deployment of SHS to rural areas also raised the concern that obsolete SHS equipment will sooner or later constitute an unresolved waste issue with adverse impacts on human health and the environment. This concern is particularly pronounced for the widely used lead-acid batteries that are – due to their contained hazardous substances – a particular severe threat to human and environmental health if not managed properly at the end of their service life. In this context, DRD and KfW assigned Oeko-Institut and Total Business Solutions to conduct a fact finding mission on waste batteries from SHS in Myanmar. This reports documents the outcomes and findings of this mission and gives recommendations on improvement options.