The majority of Cambodian households will have access to sustainable energy by 2030, according to a government policy announced yesterday.
Heng Kunleang, director of the Energy Development Department at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy said during a workshop for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) that the five-year government plan will ensure all villagers will have access to electricity by 2020 and at least 70 per cent of all households will have access to reliable, affordable electricity by 2030.
Kunleang said the government plans to extend power transmission lines for more than 2,100 kilometres, a $1.87 billion project that would increase electricity transmission up to 1,370 megawatts.
The ministry is also aware of the importance of reducing the impact of climate change, said Kunleang, and has dedicated approximately $200 million to ongoing projects with developing partners in rural electrification development.
Their plans will include technical assistance from the United Nation’s SE4ALL initiative, which could help combat electricity deficiency in the provincial areas. Cambodia joined the initiative in September.
Douglas Broderick, UN resident co-ordinator, said that SE4ALL would provide specific programs that could improve energy efficiency, and help meet people’s energy needs in the rural area.
“[The initiative] will support appropriate technology and practices, such as efficient cook stoves, briquettes and bio-energy,” he said.
Suy Sem, minister of Mines and Energy, told the Post that the price of electricity in rural areas can be expected to drop if the government’s energy policy proceeds as planned.
“We encourage the building of giant electricity companies such as diesel-fuelled generators, hydropower dams and coal plants in order to reduce the high price of electricity that small-scale generators charge in rural areas,” said Sem.
He said that current electricity supplies in Phnom Penh were 400 megawatts and supplies nationwide were only 1,000 megawatts.
To contact the reporter on this story: Vong Sokheng at [email protected]