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Cambodia’s energy policy out of balance: WEC

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Cambodia received low scores on three measures of energy policy in a newly published index.

Cambodia’s energy policy out of balance: WEC

Expensive and unreliable electricity continues to weigh down Cambodia’s ranking on the UN-accredited World Energy Council’s annual Energy Trilemma Index, according to a report released yesterday.

The Kingdom ranked a low 115 out of 130 countries on the annual index, which assesses countries according to how well they manage the trade-offs between three competing dimensions of energy policy: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.

The index reflects the challenges that countries face in developing a sustainable energy policy, with balance scores given as letter grades. An A grade and low ranking is given to top performers, while a D grade and high ranking is assigned to poor performers.

Cambodia maintained its sub-par CDD balance score on the 2015 index, seeing last year’s gain in energy security – a measure of a country’s ability to meet its current and projected energy demand – reversed to rank 121st overall.

The Kingdom’s rank in energy equity – a measure of the accessibility and affordability of energy across the population – edged down to 116th. It also lost ground and ranked 70th on environmental sustainability, which scores the use of renewable or low-carbon forms of energy.

Cambodia relies heavily on imported fuel and electricity for energy security, and costs of electricity are among the highest in the world. The government’s efforts to increase domestic power generation, including new hydropower and coal-burning plants, carry environmental trade-offs.

Joan MacNaughton, executive chair of the World Energy Trilemma study, said a balanced approach is necessary to transform energy systems to meet the three goals of the Trilemma.

“Our research underlines how priorities vary from country to country – though energy security is key for all,” she said in a statement.

“For countries to move up in the rankings and remain ahead of the pack, they must adopt prudent, forward-looking energy policies to meet decarbonisation goals and maintain competitiveness.”

Sweden and Switzerland were the only nations to receive an AAA balance score on this year’s index. Canada ranked top overall for security, while the US maintained its top ranking on affordability.

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