Instructors at the Royal University of Phnom Penh have just finished the first academic year of a landmark physics course.
Launched in the fall of 2012, “Renewable Energy and Applications” aims to train students so they can seek internships and jobs in one of Cambodia’s fastest-growing industries.
The Department of Physics oversees the classes, with the assistance of Engineers Without Borders, an Australia-based non-profit body. More than 300 students have already enrolled.
Tharith Sriv, one of the lecturers, said the concept has been under development for more than five years.
“The former vice-president of RUPP wanted to start a course concerning the use of renewable energy in Cambodia, as no associated programs were engaged with local universities,” he said.
Students who took the course this year can move onto “Renewable Energy Systems” in the coming semester. The more advanced “Renewable Energy Projects Development” is set for year four.
Phillip Hamer, a volunteer for Engineers Without Borders and a developer of the coming course, said students would come out of the classroom with a more intimate knowledge of alternative energy usage, such as solar and hydro power.
“The renewable energy sector is growing here in Cambodia, and there is indeed a need of development for increasing energy demand.” he said.
According to recent report from the World Bank, Cambodia was one of the world’s fastest expanding users of renewable energy between 1990 and 2010.
The report also found that Cambodia’s renewable energy share of total consumption was 73.3 per cent in 2010.