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Cambodia’s Bright Renewable Energy Prospects

by Samheng Boros
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By H.E. Samheng Boros, Minister attached to the Prime Minister  

There has never been a more exciting and opportune time for Cambodia to embrace renewable energy technologies. As our economy continues its impressive growth trajectory, affordable and reliable power is crucial to raise living standards and drive new industries and jobs across the Kingdom.

For too long, we have relied heavily on imported fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to meet our energy needs. But these sources are not only unsustainable from an environmental perspective, they also expose our energy security to volatile global markets and price shocks that can undermine our economic progress.

The good news is that Cambodia is endowed with abundant renewable energy resources like solar, wind, biomass and biogas that are clean, inexhaustible and domestically available. Thanks to rapidly falling technology costs, harnessing these renewable sources is increasingly affordable and economically viable compared to conventional alternatives.

Our government recognizes these immense opportunities, which is why we have already begun integrating utility-scale solar projects into our energy mix. This is just the start, as we develop a comprehensive renewable energy roadmap to substantially increase our share of solar, wind and other clean power sources over the next couple of decades.

By setting bold but achievable targets, such as meeting at least 70% of our electricity from renewables, we can drive vital new investment into this sector from both domestic and international sources. Providing clear market signals through mechanisms like a Renewable Portfolio Standard will be key to scaling up deployment in a planned manner that maintains grid reliability and affordability.

The renewable energy transition also presents exciting prospects for innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation in Cambodia. From solar installation and maintenance, to biomass power plant construction, to manufacturing of components and more – this is an entirely new growth industry we can localize through strategic investments in training and technical expertise.

Furthermore, by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels, we can reinvest the billions of dollars currently transferred overseas into catalyzing domestic renewable industries and projects instead. This unlocks incredible economic multiplier effects that can accelerate our socio-economic development.

Of course, realizing our renewables-powered future requires holistic and coordinated efforts on both the supply and demand sides. Robust energy efficiency policies, especially for buildings and industry, can reduce overall consumption and costs. Decentralized solutions like solar home systems and mini-grids are key to achieving universal energy access across rural Cambodia.

When combined, these measures chart a sustainable path towards secure, affordable and environmentally-friendly energy independence for the Kingdom – a path that safeguards our economic gains, reduces emissions and pollution, and unlocks new frontiers of progress, innovation and prosperity for all Cambodians.

With our geographical advantages, youthful workforce, and governmental resolve, Cambodia is uniquely positioned to lead the renewable energy transformation in ASEAN. The momentum has started – now is the time to build upon it through bold vision and decisive action. Our nation’s bright energy future awaits.

About the Author: H.E. Samheng Boros, an inspiring Minister attached to the Prime Minister, is a passionate advocate for youth empowerment. With a deep admiration for sports, education technology, and innovation, he serves as the honorary president of The Better Cambodia, leading positive news platform and fostering a brighter future for the nation.

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