Mekong Strategic Partners
Switching On: Cambodia’s Path to Sustainable Energy Security
This report investigates the potential for Cambodia to diversify its power supply technology mix, for greater energy security and sustainability benefits.
To date almost all Cambodian investment in the power sector has focused on large scale hydropower and coal-fired generation. A dramatic reduction in the cost of renewables means Cambodia should pursue energy security, access, reliability and affordability goals, at least in part, through increased investment in (non-large hydropower) renewable energy.
Large scale solar is rapidly approaching price parity with Coal-fired generation and Hydro
Using Solar, which can be rolled out significantly more quickly than Hydro or Coal-fired, Cambodia could achieve energy independence within 12 months.
Cambodia’s Power Development Plan forecasts do not currently factor in any significant contribution from non-hydro renewable generation.
The report therefore advocates that the RGC considers a number of actions, to:
adopt a renewable power generation target;
put in place an enabling environment that rewards fairly the supply of electricity from alternative technologies, such as rooftop solar;
engage with development partners to seek support for establishing such an enabling environment, including by addressing upfront capital barriers to uptake; and
use fiscal instruments both to encourage uptake of renewable energy and, in the face of variable (and currently very low) fossil fuel prices, to discourage uptake of carbon-intensive technologies.
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