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EU bankrolls green energy initiatives

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The ‘Switch to Solar Power’ project will be implemented over four years to contribute to economic growth in rural areas. Heng Chivoan

EU bankrolls green energy initiatives

The EU will provide $5.97 million to fund two new projects to boost a green economic recovery in Cambodia.

The goal is to promote sustainable consumption and production of energy sources and put local small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) on track to a green recovery, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) said in a press release on Friday.

Funded by the EU, the “Switch to Solar” project will be implemented over four years from 2020-2024 by the NGO People In Need to contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in rural areas of Cambodia.

Approximately 1.14 million women, men and children across six provinces and 15 districts in the Tonle Sap Lake region will benefit from greater economic opportunities at the local level, a more sustainable natural environment, and greater access to environmentally-friendly products and services from target SMEs, said GGGI.

People in Need programme manager for economic empowerment and green energy Jerus D’Silva said solar energy is currently one of the easiest to implement and fastest growing technologies in the field of renewable energy.

He highlighted that with energy being the foundation of everything that is economically viable, there needs to be more focus on developing sustainable forms of energy to build a sustainable and functioning economy.

“I believe this project will significantly contribute to the economic empowerment and livelihoods of people living in rural areas.

“The key results from this project are that business models and technology solutions are designed and promoted for local solar technology providers to strengthen and target SMEs and consumers to improved awareness and access to a range of solar energy devices,” said D’Silva.

The second EU funded project – “Promotion of sustainable energy practices in the garment sector in Cambodia” – will promote clean energy practices, including energy efficiency but also rooftop solar in garment manufacturing.

GGGI said: “This project is implemented by the GGGI together with the NGO Geres and the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia [GMAC].

“It will stimulate demand for sustainable energy technologies in garment manufacturing by raising awareness among factories around the strong business case for clean energy.”

The project will also work with banks and energy service providers to increase the supply of technologies, services and financial solutions for sustainable energy in manufacturing.

Finally, the implementing partners will work with Cambodian government to strengthen the regulatory framework for clean energy in manufacturing.

GGGI country representative to Cambodia Karolien Casaer-Diez, claimed that GGGI’s economic modelling projects that a 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency in the garment sector would lead to an increase of 31 per cent in energy productivity by 2030 and $2 billion of avoided energy costs.

“This will help to sustainable energy practices strengthen the competitiveness of Cambodian garment manufacturing. This creates employment opportunities direly needed in one of the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.

EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno said: “Our support will allow Cambodian SMEs harnessing the potential of green energy for developing agricultural value chains around the Tonle Sap lake and as well as for the garment sector.”

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