Posted on 30 March 2016
Cambodia Renewable Energy Report 2016 - Sustainable energy use and alternatives for power generation in the Greater Mekong sub-region
Cambodia has an opportunity to become a leader in clean, renewable electricity as renewable energy sources such as sun, wind, water and biomass energy abound. Choices made in the coming months and years could lead to seizing opportunities to leapfrog and embrace the best technologies now or to continued overreliance on heavily polluting, high carbon fossil fuel power generation, non-sustainable hydro power projects or even to a dependence on risky and costly nuclear power.
Over 6 million people do not yet have access to grid-quality electricity in Cambodia. Cambodia currently depends mainly on large scale hydro power and fossil fuels and its power development plan to 2030 continues that dependence. This report shows that another future is possible, where a diverse mix of renewable sources can meet nearly all of Cambodia’s electricity demand by 2050. Electricity consumption in Cambodia has been growing very rapidly, averaging 20% growth per annum since 2010 and the rate of increase is accelerating as national grid is rapidly developed and average incomes rise. Ensuring that there is sufficient supply to meet this rapidly growing demand is a key priority for the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC). The Rectangular Strategy (RSIII, 2013) and the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP 2014 18), which are the RGC’s core policy documents, set out the top four priorities for the power development sector as being:
• “further expanding … electricity production, especially from new and clean energy sources, along with … all levels of the transmission network (to) strengthen energy security and ensur(e) … reliable and affordable electricity supply and distribution (for development);
• further encouraging (private sector investment) … focusing on technical and economic efficiency and minimiz(ing) environmental and social impacts;
• (realizing) the goal “by 2020, all villages in the Kingdom of Cambodia will have access to electricity supplied by the national grid and other sources”; and
• further supporting the rural electrification fund (to) achiev(e) equitable electricity access for the population – through government budget, social fund from Electricity Du Cambodge (EDC) and (support) from other development partners. “
The RGC also has a high level goal of at least 70% of all households having access to grid quality electricity by the year 2030. For the RGC, it is clear that access, reliability and affordability are critical drivers but so is the need to grow the sector in an environmentally sustainable way.