Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Blue Circle to add wind power to Cambodia’s energy production

The Blue Circle to add wind power to Cambodia’s energy production

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A view of the Blue Circle’s Dam Nai project which is the first foreign-owned wind power plant in Vietnam. Photo supplied

The Blue Circle to add wind power to Cambodia’s energy production

Energy security is Cambodia’s next burning challenge. But The Blue Circle Chief Executive Officer Olivier Duguet has a novel solution to fix energy security woes in Cambodia.

Wind energy is another option for resources-rich Cambodia, he said.

Duguet said wind energy can complement other cleaner renewable energy such as solar and hydropower, which is vital for the Kingdom.

“Wind energy is not only for rich countries or countries with a big population. It is suitable for countries like Cambodia. It is affordable, stable and can complement other energy sources,” he added.

Countries with similar gross domestic product per capita in Africa or Asia have already more than 150MW installed of wind capacity each (Senegal with 158MW and Pakistan with 792MW), he said.

Cambodia has come a long way in energy transformation – shifting from dependence on diesel and heavy fuel about a decade ago to a different energy mix – hydropower and electricity from coal-fired power plants.

For instance, in 2011 diesel and heavy fuel oil produced 89.2 percent of the country’s electricity needs, but it felt drastically to merely 8.7 percent by 2016.

Today, electrification program nationwide has been successfully implemented covering about 70 percent of the country.

In addition, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has set ambitious targets.

All Cambodian villages to have electricity supply by 2020 and by 2030, at least 70 percent of households will have access to grid-quality electricity.

Despite the achievements, industry experts are calling for a balanced energy mix to ensure there is sustainable energy supply to meet the country’s power demand which is expected to increase due to rising population and growing economy.

“Over six million people do not yet have access to grid-quality electricity in Cambodia.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Source: Blue Circle

“Cambodia currently depends mainly on large scale hydropower and fossil fuels and its power development plan to 2030 continues that dependence,” said WWF’s (World Wide Fund for Nature) Cambodia Renewable Energy Report 2016.

At the “Inspire ASEAN 2018 - Powering Cambodia with Wind and Solar” conference held in Phnom Penh last Wednesday, energy experts said it is time for Cambodia to diversify its power production.

The country’s energy mix is not balanced, as there is over dependence on hydropower, which makes up roughly 47 percent of the energy generation, while 19 percent of electricity is still imported from Vietnam and Thailand.
Besides, other flaws like lack of a competitive electricity market, costly power rates and absences of a dedicated renewable energy targets hinder the sector’s performance.

With electricity consumption forecast to grow at about 9.4 percent annually until 2020, industry experts are calling for a balanced energy system and shift away from carbon-heavy fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to more renewable energy, such as solar and wind.

“Wind power brings added value for the energy economy and Cambodia can achieve energy independence and replace part of its imported power from neighbouring countries,” said Duguet at the conference.

According to The Bluce Circle, Cambodia has potential to generate about 500 MW wind power because of its weather conditions.

The Singapore-based renewable energy developer is currently carrying out feasibility studies for a 13 MW pilot project in Kampot, Sihanouk and Mondulkiri.

“Cambodia is situated in an area where the Asian monsoons prevail. The Blue Circle has installed three meteorological masts since 2015, to acquire long-term wind data; has secured sites and can now confirm Cambodia’s wind power potential at a competitive cost,” he added.

Wind power can bring significant socioeconomic benefits – create green jobs, boosts local tourism, maintenance center provides job opportunities and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

Blue Circle’s chief development officer Gilles Beau told the Southeast Asia Globe magazine’s report “Future Energy” that time is ripe for Cambodia to tap renewable energy.

“Technology is ready, its cost competitive, there are plenty of renewable resources in Cambodia between solar, wind and hydro, and it is time for Cambodia to unlock its potential,” said Beau.

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided

  • Covid rattles Phnom Penh’s retail landscape through H1

    The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked the retail landscape in Phnom Penh, with anxiety around infection risk keeping the masses away from shopping malls and driving retail consumption down by nearly five per cent in the first half of this year, compared to July-December 2020, according to