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Solar slated to add 495MW by 2023

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Electricians install electric power lines on a steel power pole along Hun Sen Boulevard in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Heng Chivoan

Solar slated to add 495MW by 2023

Cambodia will add 495MW of solar power capacity from seven projects by 2023, which will represent “20 per cent” of the total energy supply by then, as the world looks to harness the sun as a key source of renewable electric power in the fight against climate change, according to a senior energy official on October 26.

This is what Ministry of Mines and Energy permanent secretary of state Ith Praing told the Singapore-International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) High-Level Forum, held under the theme “Investing in an Inclusive and Just Clean Energy Transition”, as part of the Singapore International Energy Week (Siew).

Praing said the village and household electrification rates have shown remarkable progress, reaching 97.4 per cent and 81 per cent, respectively, as of December 31.

“Our electricity supply is dominated by renewable energy, especially hydro, accounting for 88 per cent on a typical day, followed by solar. We still have some coal power plants in the generation mix, as well as imports to support our system’s stability – solar currently makes up a nine per cent share of our installed capacity.

“The key objectives in our latest power development plan 2020-2040 include accessibility, reliability, affordability, security as well as contribution to address climate change,” he said.

Praing expressed Cambodia’s commitment to address climate change; to assume responsibility and attentively work towards finding a common global resolution; and to ramp up development of low-carbon electricity to spur a just and equitable energy transition.

These tasks are necessary to attain the sustainable development goals set by the UN and the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, he said, adding that the Kingdom is determined to curb emissions and give the world a fighting chance to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen underlined that Cambodia regards carbon credits as a sustainable source of financing for greenhouse gas reduction projects, and that the Kingdom is keen to work with any interested countries, private sector entities, or other potential partners in the field.

The prime minister made the remarks in a pre-recorded video that was broadcasted at the Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum 2021 on September 3, the first of the two-day event, held both virtually and in-person under the theme “Energy, Climate and Environment”.

“In the context that the whole world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, this forum serves as a reminder for us all not to forget the issues of energy, climate and the environment, which require attention and responsibility, through constant consideration of a common global solution,” Hun Sen said.

Despite its less-developed country label, the Kingdom is committed to cutting carbon emissions in the forestry, energy, industrial, agricultural and waste management sectors by 64.6 million tonnes by 2030, he said.

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