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Project set to power rural solar shift

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The Switch to Solar project aims to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Kingdom’s rural areas. SUPPLIED

Project set to power rural solar shift

Czech NGO People in Need, with support from the EU and the Czech Development Agency (CzDA), launched the Switch to Solar project, aiming to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the Kingdom’s rural areas, CzDA said in a press release.

“The goal of the project is to enable small, medium and micro-enterprises [to] switch from using unsustainable energy to solar energy and thus help improve consumer habits in rural areas of Cambodia.

“The project will thus also support sustainable and inclusive economic growth in rural areas by reducing the environmental impact caused by the energy consumption of these businesses,” it said.

The press release issued on May 26 said the EU will provide €2,560,000 ($3.1 million) for the project, which is set to be implemented for four years to 2024.

Darina Vlckova from the CzDA, which is in charge of grant support for tripartite projects, was reported as saying: “This project will also help Cambodia meet its targets for the ASEAN Energy Cooperation Action Plan 2016-2025, in which ASEAN countries aim to achieve an overall higher share of renewable energy by 2025.

“The project mainly focuses on building local capacity through training or providing necessary assistance, as well as supporting links between relevant actors in the sector, such as solar energy providers, consumers and financial institutions,” she said.

CzDA said: “The project, aptly named Switch to Solar, takes a systematic approach to developing the market by encouraging demand at the lowest level and supporting supply chain development of solar energy providers.

“This approach attempts to address the root causes of the shortcomings of the solar sector by cooperating with key factors such as financial institutions, investors and retailers, which will lead to long-term improvements and efficiency gains in the solar energy market.

People in Need programme manager Hugo Agostinho was quoted as saying: “I believe that this project will make a significant contribution to economic independence and improve the living conditions of people in rural areas.

“Solar is currently one of the most easily introduced and fastest-growing renewable energy technologies. For us to build a sustainable and functional economy, we must focus more on developing sustainable forms of energy,” he said.

CzDA added: “During the four years of the project, four workshops are planned in which agriculture and fishery experts will serve as mentors to local communities and present the challenges and possible solutions related to the use of ‘green’ technologies.”

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