The Asian country of the Kingdom of Cambodia is bordered by Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and the Gulf of Thailand. The population of Cambodia is approximately 16.94 million people.
In 2021, Cambodia’s economy was ranked 101st in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is based on tourism and the export of knit sweaters, trunks, cases, women’s suits, leather footwear, and tanned fur skins.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 82.5% of the people in Cambodia had access to electricity. In 2021, state owned Electricité du Cambodge used renewable energy (52.9%), coal (42.4%), and oil (4.7%) to generate electricity in Cambodia. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Cambodia.
Recent renewable energy projects in Cambodia include:
- 2,000 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, the Asian Development Bank and state owned Électricité du Cambodge (EDC) signed an agreement to develop 2,000 MW of solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) in Cambodia. EDC is currently conducting a study of potential projects sites, which could be built and commissioned by 2030.
- 150 MW Hydropower Project – People’s Republic of China company, China National Heavy Machinery is continuing work on the Stung Tatai Leu Hydropower project on the Tatai River, approximately 100 miles west of the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
- 74 MW Solar Project – In November 2021, French power company, Total Eren commissioned the Battambang solar project at a site approximately 175 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh.
- 40 MW Solar Project – In November 2022, People’s Republic of China company, Trina Solar commissioned a solar project for Electricité du Cambodge at a site approximately 20 miles north-northwest of 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.
Cambodia imports refined petroleum and coal for power generation and transport fuel. Cambodia imports refined petroleum from Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand; and coal from Indonesia. In 2021, Cambodia imported U.S. $2.71 Billion just for imported refined petroleum.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Cambodia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, offshore wind, geothermal, onshore wind, hydropower, and biomass. If developed, Cambodia’s renewable energy resources could easily replace the expensive imported coal and refined petroleum power plants which generated 47.1% of the nation’s electricity in 2021. Renewable energy now offers Cambodia a prosperous future.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.