THE government hopes to invest US$800 million to develop renewable energy to electrify all the Kingdom’s villages by 2020, it was revealed at a government meeting Wednesday.
At an annual ministry meeting on the subject held at the Cambodiana hotel in Phnom Penh, Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy Secretary of State Sat Samy told the Post that Cambodia would spend $800 million on the development of renewable power.
Using a $20 million loan from the World Bank, the government has created an Electrification Foundation to provide support to any companies wishing to invest in the development of renewable energy.
“We are trying to encourage investment from the private sector in order to increase electricity supply in the countryside.
“We will give capital support of 25 to 30 percent to any companies which are interested in investing in the renewable electricity sector,” Sat Samy added.
It is hoped the government will be able to garner the extra funds needed from development partners, private companies and institutions such as the World Bank, he said.
According to the ministry, five companies, from Japan, South Korea, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, have been licenced to conduct three- to six-month-long studies on the possibility of building solar power plants in the countryside. It is hoped that construction will start by the end of the year.
The ministry says that at present, only about 10 percent of Cambodia’s countryside communities have access to electricity.