Renewable Energy Offers Cambodia A Prosperous Future

National Economy

The population of the Kingdom of Cambodia is approximately 17.1 million people[1]. In 2020, 93.0 % of the people in this Southeast Asian country had access to electricity[2].

In 2020, Cambodia’s economy was ranked 103rd in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is based on the export[4] of knit clothing, precious metals, trunks, cases, bicycles, and rice.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Cambodia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a 27% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.

In 2019, the Electric Authority of Cambodia (EAC) used renewable energy (54.3 %), coal (43.7 %), and oil (2.0 %)  to generate electricity in the country[6]. Hydropower is the primary type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Cambodia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Cambodia include:

  • 9 MW Solar Project – In November 2021, French power company, Total Eren commissioned the Battambang photovoltaic solar project at a site approximately 175 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh.
  • 750 kW Solar Project – In December 2021, French energy company, Total commissioned a rooftop photovoltaic solar project at a site approximately 20 miles southwest of Phnom Penh.
  • 650 kW Solar + 896 kW Battery Storage Project – In January 2022, Total commissioned a photovoltaic solar and lithium-ion battery storage project at a site approximately 100 miles north-northwest of Phnom Penh.

Conclusions

Cambodia imports all its natural gas and refined petroleum products from Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand. The country also imports all the coal for its power plants from Indonesia. The import of these fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) negatively impact Cambodia’s economy.

Cambodia has significant undeveloped renewable resources, including hydropower, solar, wind, and biomass. However, Cambodia has been slow to develop its renewable energy resources, unlike it neighbor, Vietnam.

Cambodia’s government is beginning to develop the nation’s vast low-cost renewable energy resources. Renewable energy offers Cambodia a prosperous future.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

[1] Cambodia’s Population (2022) –  January 20, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Cambodia”

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2020 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Cambodia

[5] Carbon Brief – “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Pledges” www.carbonbriefing.org

[6] Our World In Data, Cambodia: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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