Cambodia: Energy Resources
From Open Energy Information
|Energy Consumption||0.07 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||KH|
|3-letter ISO code||KHM|
|Numeric ISO code||116|
|UN Region||South-Eastern Asia|
|Energy Maps||5 view|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia and once known as the Khmer Empire, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its total landmass is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 70th most populous country in the world.
|Wind Potential||0||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||91||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||Unavailable||Million Short Tons||N/A||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||0||Cubic Meters (cu m)||196||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||0||Barrels (bbl)||195||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring Cambodia
Policy and Regulatory Overview 
Presently only 26% households in Cambodia have access to electricity which is generated using imported fossil fuels. Outside the provincial towns, electricity is rare, with only about 6% of rural households having access to power supply, and another 3% owning some type of power generating unit. Of the remaining 91% of the rural population, 55% use automobile batteries for occasional and limited use, or do without electricity completely (36%).
The majority of the transmission network operates at 230 kV, with 115 kV feeders serving major towns. The majority of the grid infrastructure is concentrated around the capital, Phnom Penh, with a limited network around the Battambang hydropower plant in the north-west of the country. The country does not have a National Grid but three interconnected power systems: the Phnom Penh, North-western Grid and the Southern Grid systems as well as two systems, one connected to the system in Thailand and other connected to the system in Vietnam through MV connections by end of 2009.
An estimated 600 privately-owned Rural Electricity Enterprises (REEs) supply some 5% of the country’s electricity consumption to 115,000 customers in rural areas and small towns. The REEs provide a wide range of services, from recharging batteries, to distribution to houses, and officially operate under one year approvals granted by the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME). However, in practice, the majority of REEs operate unapproved. Small diesel-based generators (owned on a municipal basis, non-commercially) under the responsibility of MIME account for the remaining 5% of total electricity consumption through small, isolated grids. These enterprises provide a possible private sector-led framework for developing local systems.
The development of hydropower resources is Cambodia’s first energy priority, with four contracts for plants in the Mekong River, worth US$3 billion, already granted to Chinese companies. Between 2010 and 2019, Cambodia plans to open nine hydropower dams, supplying the country with 1942 MWe. A 2007 government report does not mention nuclear plans, but instead outlines the prospects from 2008 to 2022 as focusing on hydroelectric power, coal-fired power plants, and improving the electricity distribution network, including links with the neighbouring states of the Lao PDR, Vietnam and Thailand.
GMS Power Trade (Cambodia) Project The objective of the project is to enhance power trade within the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, with a view to bringing affordable grid-based electricity to selected provinces in Cambodia, through the import of power from the Lao PDR and Vietnam. This will in turn strengthen regional cooperation and integration so that the sub-region can benefit from the development of South-east Asia's natural resources and rapidly growing economies.
Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund The Asian Development Bank has invested US$15 million in the Mekong Brahmaputra Development Fund. This fund intends to invest in the clean energy and environment sectors in selected DMCs (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam) in the Greater Mekong Subregion and South Asia. The investment focus will mainly be on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation. The Fund aims for a 50% increase in power generation from renewable energy projects in these countries by 2020, based on 2007 levels.
TTY Cambodia Biogas Project This project is the first large-scale biogas project in Cambodia. The project will reduce emissions by over 60,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (tCO2e/year), and will reduce waste-water pollution for the nearby rural community. The project is the first Gold Standard applicant project in Cambodia. The Project has been approved and registered by the CDM Executive Board, the second CDM project in Cambodia.
KampotCement Waste Heat Power Generation Project The purpose of the project activity is to utilise waste heat to generate 28.73 GWh/year of electricity. The electricity produced by the steam turbine generator will be used within the cement factory to offset electricity from the on-site dedicated HFO fired power plant. The annual GHG emission reduction is estimated to be 20,066 tCO2e/year.
The Kamchay Hydroelectric BOT Project This project is the largest proposed CDM project in Cambodia, located in Kampot Province. The installed capacity is 194.10 MW. This project will substantially replace the fossil fuel consumption for electricity generation in Cambodia. The expected amount of greenhouse gases emission reduction will be approximately 370,496 tCO2e/year.
Climate change related technology transfer for Cambodia: Using agricultural residue biomass for sustainable energy solutions (2012-2016) With the funding of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the project aims to promote the sustainable transfer to Cambodia of biomass energy production technologies. Incremental GEF financing will be provided for the installation of 3 biomass-fueled power plants with total electric capacity of 4MW and total thermal capacity of 1.12MW. In all cases, the biomass fuel will derive from locally available agricultural waste. The GHG emissions avoided during the lifetime of these investments will be over 393,000 tones of CO2eq.
The government has its sights set on improving electrification in the country, particularly the rural areas. This aim is central to the achievement of Cambodia’s Millennium Development Goals. Supporting this aim are the two key energy development targets for 2009-2013, namely the reduction of production costs and increase in the scope of supply. Supporting these targets in turn are the following strategies: promotion of energy imported from neighbouring countries; construction and operation of major power sources; connection of major urban areas to the national power grid; and construction of transmission and distribution lines all over the country. According to the Master Plan of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Phnom Penh and all of Cambodia’s 23 provinces will have been connected to the national power grid by 2018. Based on the National Grid Development Plan 2009- 2013, such grid connections as those from Vietnam to Phnom Penh and from Phnom Penh to various provinces in the country would have been already made. For 2009-2013, said investments are projected to reach USD570 million. Donor and private bank loans on the other hand are expected to finance the infrastructure expansion for rural electrification. AusAID, World Bank, KfW, and China EXIM Bank are among those currently involved in the initiative.
Total installed electricity capacity (2009): 516 MW
Total primary energy supply (2008): 5,220 ktoe Comb. Renew. and Waste: 70.0% Petroleum products: 29.9% Hydro-electric/electricity: 0.1%
The total produced electricity in 2008 was 1,461 GWh. By source, oil contributed the largest portion (1,410 GWh), followed by hydro (46 GWh). The country imported 374 GWh of electricity, totalling in 1,835 GWh of domestic supply. The final consumption of electricity was 1,639 GWh, by the residential sector (742 GWh), commercial and public services (553 GWh) and industry (344 GWh). Electricity generation in Cambodia is expected to face a significant increase in demand in the years to come. Electricity demand in Cambodia is forecast to grow from 244MW and 946GWh in 2003 to 991MW and 3,478GWh in 2020. The supply requirements of Cambodia are projected to increase in average by 12.1% per year, and the peak load is expected to reach 991 MW in 2020.
Electricity in Cambodia is one of the most expensive in the world. The total production cost for Phnom Penh can reach USD0.18 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Of this, USD0.12 represents the production costs while the remaining represents service costs. Even with government subsidy, electricity tariffs remain very high. Because of the lower costs of imported power and oil, electricity rates in 2009 were at least cheaper compared with the rates in 2008.
Accurate, up-to-date analysis of the use of biomass is scarce but its dominance in the energy balance is visible. In 2008, the renewable and waste source was from solid biomass, and the energy produced from solid biomass was consumed mostly by the residential sector. According to the FAO, wood fuel production fell just 11% between 1995 and 2002.
The country possesses large hydropower reserves and some coal reserves. Offshore oil and gas reserves, which initially looked promising, were later found to be lying in complicated geological structures. Though expectations have been lowered considerably, production is scheduled to begin after 2010.
The EAC is responsible for approving all tariffs and charges for the supply of electricity. The Authority regularly reviews the tariffs and charges to ensure they provide electricity at reasonable prices consistent with ensuring an adequate return to investors in the supply of electricity. The EAC is responsible for the regulation of both private and public suppliers of electricity, including the EdC.
EdC is a vertically-integrated, state-owned company. However, the government encourages private sector participation in the power industry through competitive bidding for power purchase agreements with EdC. It also supports grid connections with neighbouring economies, such as a 220 kV line pursuant to the Greater Mekong Subregion Power Transmission Project. Grid electricity supply is monopolistic under EdC in the country. There is no public process of bidding opportunities to supply electricity in the country. Any interested investors must submit their project proposals to the MIME for evaluation and approval.
Cambodia’s total potential savings from energy efficiency measures are estimated at about 467 GWh/year, or a 29% energy saving.
Cambodia's power sector was severely damaged by years of war and neglect. The country’s annual power consumption of about 125 million kilowatt-hours is the lowest in South-east Asia and among the lowest in the world. The electricity generation mix consists of 96% from oil, 4% from hydropower and less than 1% from solar power. Demand for electricity, 75% of which is supplied by outdated diesel-fuelled power plants, is growing by about 20% a year. The potential for efficiency improvements in the power generations sector is evident, due to the high dependence on fossil fuels.
The residential sector contributes most to total final consumption, due to the total consumption of the nation's biomass supply in the sector.
In 2008, total final consumption was 4,637 ktoe, of which combustible renewable and waste contributed the largest portion of 3,486 ktoe, followed by oil of 1,009 ktoe and electricity of 141 ktoe. By sectors, the residential sector used the largest portion (4,002 ktoe), followed by the transport sector (385), agriculture/forestry (118), industry (83) and commercial and public services (48).
High electricity costs due to the high cost of predominantly used fossil fuels, poor generation efficiency, higher distribution losses, low capacity utilisation and system inefficiencies are the major concerns for sustainable and clean energy solutions in Cambodia.
Environmental impact from electricity generation has long been a concern. The government plans to stop purchasing electricity from some independent power producers (particularly HFO/LFO power plants) and encourage investments in renewable and more affordable power resources. It also plans to import cheaper electricity from neighbouring countries.
The public power supply is not reliable for most of the heavy power consumers, such as hotels, hospitals and manufacturing factories, due to sudden and frequent power failures, as well as unstable voltage. Because Cambodia depends on highly expensive imported fuel products with little governmental support for competitive electric supply, the security of reliable and economical power has been one of the most critical issues for the commercial and industrial sectors.
The MIME is responsible for developing, implementing and managing government policy and strategy with regard to energy. The General Directorate of Energy within the MIME is divided into three departments: 1. The Department of Energy Development, 2. The Department of Energy Technique, 3. The Hydropower Department. The Department of Energy Technique (DET) is the focal point of the Government’s efforts to develop renewable energy technologies, and energy efficiency and technical standards in the power sector and beyond.
Energy regulation role
Whilst the EAC is an autonomous agency, the government has an effect on its operation through the appointment of key positions within the organisation, as well as in energy policy formulation and promulgation. The MIME is responsible for all energy policy and planning in the country, including overall control of the power sector, and is also responsible for producing development plans for the sector.
Electricité du Cambodge (EdC, www.edc.com.kh), the government-owned utility service agency, supplies electricity in the major cities in Cambodia, which include Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Takeo and Battambang, accounting for nearly 90% of total electricity consumption. EdC serves approximately 10% of the population, with most of its customers located in Phnom Penh. Outside the major cities, there are off-grid power distribution systems operated by small independent power producers (IPPs). EdC has no significant power generation and nearly half of its installed power capacity (some 140MW) is actually supplemented by 2 IPPs (63 MW). The short and middle term trends, and government policies, continue to rely on the role of IPPs. Even so, there has been a perpetuating demand and supply gap, and additional IPP generation capacity must be installed so that relatively high quality and reliable power supply, especially in Phnom Penh (the country's major economic and industrial centre) can be attained.
A huge but declining share of the company’s power supply is actually sourced from independent power producers (IPPs). This share stood at more than one-half of the total in 2009 from about three-fourths in 2007. Meanwhile, imported power, specifically from Vietnam, has come to figure more prominently as a source of electricity for EDC. As EDC-generated power decreased, imported power increased from 69 to 705 GWh between 2007 and 2009.
Degree of independence
The Electricity Authority of Cambodia is legal public entity, being granted the right from the royal government to be an autonomous agency to regulate the electric power services, and to govern the relation between the delivery, receiving and use of electricity.
The Authority consists of three members, including the Chairman. The Chairman and members are designated and proposed by the Prime Minister and are appointed by Royal Decree. Each member has a three-year term, except for the initial term. The term of each member shall be staggered. The Chairman’s position is equivalent to the rank of Secretary of State and the position of other members is equivalent to Under Secretary of State. The Authority has an autonomous budget for its operation. This budget comes from the fees paid to the Authority by applicants and licensees.
Cambodia is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a ten-state cooperative framework intended to promote greater regional development through mutual assistance. An integral part of ASEAN’s regional economic co-operation focuses on the energy sector, where the declared objective is to ensure greater security and sustainability of regional energy supplies through diversification, development and conservation of resources, the efficient use of energy and the wider application of environmentally sound technologies. Energy cooperation is officially seen as a complement to regional economic integration.
Cambodia conducted “Country Assessment Study on Biofuel and Rural Renewable Energy” in 2007-2008.
Cambodia ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 18 December 1995 and the Kyoto Protocol on 22 August 2002. For this purpose, the Environment Protection and Natural Resource Management Law from 1996 requests all energy power projects to be subject to Environmental Impact Assessment procedures. An Environmental Steering Committee and Project Review Teams were established.
Power Sector Strategy 1999-2016 Access to sustainable energy services is a critical factor in Cambodia reaching its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as the targets in the National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010 (NSDP) for reduction of fuel wood dependency and poverty. In 1999, the Government approved the Cambodia Power Sector Strategy 1999-2016. The objectives of this policy are: 1. To provide an adequate supply of energy throughout Cambodia at reasonable and affordable price; 2. To ensure a reliable, secure electricity supply, at prices which facilitate investment in Cambodia and development of the national economy; 3. To encourage exploration and environmentally and socially acceptable development of energy resources for all sectors of the Cambodian economy; 4. To encourage the efficient use of energy, and minimise detrimental environmental effects resulting from energy supply and use.
The energy strategy in Cambodia covers four main categories: the electricity strategy, renewable energy, a power sector strategy and a wood energy strategy.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) goals submitted to the 5th East Asia Summit Energy Ministers Meeting, held on 20 September 2011 in Brunei Darussalam, state that the country uses Final Energy Demand as the EE Indicator, and aims at 10% reduction from Business as Usual by 2030. The action plans to achieve the EE&C goals cover the usage of energy by industry, transport and commercial & residential such as the introduction of energy efficient equipments and EE labelling as well as the promotion of EE awareness of public.
Rural Electrification by Renewable Energy Policy The government, in 2006, approved the Rural Electrification by Renewable Energy Policy. Its main objective is to create an enabling framework for renewable energy technologies to increase access to electricity in rural areas. The policy acknowledges the Master Plan Study on Rural Electrification by Renewable Energy in the Kingdom of Cambodia as the guiding document for the implementation of projects and programmes. The Master Plan envisions: 1) to achieve a 100% level of village electrification, including battery lightning, by 2020; 2) to achieve a 70% level of household electrification with grid quality electricity by 2030. In addition, Cambodia aims at 15% of rural electricity supply from solar and small hydro by 2015.
The Rural Electrification Fund (REF) has been continuing its programme of providing grant assistance to licensees for new connections to households in rural areas. For this programme, REF received funds from Government of Cambodia through loan from the World Bank.
Renewable Electricity Action Plan 2002–2012 (REAP) The REAP aims to provide cost-effective and reliable electrification of rural Cambodia through renewable energy technologies. The Plan is being implemented by the MIME, and consists of three phases: market preparation, early growth and market scale-up. The first six years of the REAP, Phase I and II, will be characterised by the following four components: i. Technical Assistance for Policy and Regulation ii. Public and Private Sector Human Resource and Institutional Capacity Building iii. National Awareness and Market Structure Development iv. Priority Renewable Electricity Projects
The REAP is expected to provide electricity to over 145,000 households and commercial entities through installation and operation of 10–17 MW of renewable generation.
Cambodia is developing ambitious rural electrification programmes based on SHS concessions. It is embracing community electrification schemes that utilise hybrid systems or hybrid plants.
Basic Bio-energy Policy states that Cambodia has a great opportunity to become a bio-energy producer for not only domestic supply but even for possible bio-energy exporter using large underutilized or unused land. Thus, Government policy supports and encourages investors in the context of biofuel investment by providing concession land as possible (Based on Sub Decree on Concession Land). In accordance with this policy, the country plans to formulate a multi-Ministry Bio-Energy Committee and Bio-Energy Act or Sub Decree.
Government officials recognise some barriers to development of biofuels and rural renewable energy as: limited information and low level of awareness; weak coordination between relevant agencies; lack of skilled personnel and training facilities; commercial non-viability; inadequate financing arrangement; and unfavourable import taxes and tariff systems.
National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) of Cambodia 2009-2013
The NSDP emphasizes the importance of energy for development of the country and give priority to ensure efficiency and sustainability of production, supply and proper maintenance of the power infrastructure across the whole country. The strategy also points out the importance of making electricity available to the poor at an affordable price as well as attracting private sector investment and their active participation in expanding the power infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand for electricity.
Energy is central to sustainable growth and poverty reduction efforts. It affects all aspects of development -- social, economic, and environmental -- including livelihoods, access to water, agricultural productivity, health, population levels, education, and gender-related issues. None of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be met without a major improvement in the quality and quantity of energy services in developing countries. Therefore, there is an unmistakable link between energy and sustainable human development. Thus, the lack of energy and unaffordable costs correlates closely with many challenges of sustainable development.
Cambodia is a net importer of fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, heavy oil, fuel oil, and kerosene, and the petroleum products, which produced 29.9% of the TPES in 2008, were all imported. Fossil fuel is used for transport and electricity generation. More than 90% of the electricity supply comes from generators. Even the batteries that rural households use for lighting are charged at diesel-powered charging stations.
To bridge the supply-demand gap, some electricity needs to be purchased from the neighbouring countries of Vietnam and Thailand. In 2009, Cambodia spent US$59 million on electricity imports from Thailand and Vietnam. The Kingdom purchased 226.76 billion kWh in 2009 from Thailand for US$ 19 million, and 500.74 billion kWh from Vietnam for US$ 40 million.
Role of the government
The three main government institutions responsible for energy in Cambodia are:
the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME, www.mime.gov.kh/), responsible for energy planning, policy and management, and General Department of Energy; the Ministry of Environment (MoE, www.moe.gov.kh), responsible for reviewing and approving the Environmental Assessments and Environmental Management Plans (EMP) of the energy projects as per the requirements of the Law on Environmental Protection, promulgated by Royal Decree NS/RKM/1296/36 dated 24/12/1996, and other sub decrees on Environmental Protection of the Kingdom of Cambodia; and Electricity du Cambodge (EdC), the government-owned power utility responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of power in nine areas of the country.
The Electricity Law was promulgated on the 2nd February 2001. The Law creates the Electricity Authority of Cambodia as an independent regulatory authority, and also establishes: i. the principles for operations in the electric power industry, and the activities of licensees in the provision of electric power services, ii. favourable conditions for capital investments in, and the commercial operation of, the electric power industry, iii. the basis for the regulation of supply of electric power services to the extent such services are monopolistic, and iv. the basis for the protection of the rights of consumers in the short term and in the future.
The legal environment in Cambodia is not yet strong, with many of the laws still being drafted. There is little or no regulation of the rural electricity sector at present and the tariff fixation by private REEs is arbitrary and exorbitant, which are placing consumes at a disadvantage.
The legal and policy framework needs to be put in place, e.g. concessionary duties and taxes concerning imported renewable equipment and “smart” subsidies, including a regulatory mechanism, to cover small power producing entities.
Limited supply-side system Low reliability of supply Lack of access to reasonable energy sources Technical/non-technical system losses Low load factor Low power factor Small-scale diesel-based generation by EDC is not competitive with the own generation by some industrial, commercial customers and hotels Very low electricity consumption per capita Favourable tariffs for domestic customers, and cross subsidies for domestic industry and commercial customers by government, Very high tariffs Bad debts Lack of interest in investment in power sector
Apart from donor projects, there are no subsidies available for RE in the country at present. The Government’s budget is too limited to provide significant finance for such subsidies. Of course, revenues could be raised through a levy on existing electricity consumers, as done elsewhere, but this will not provide the requisite funds. Access to donors and multilateral funds therefore remains a necessary ingredient to implement the RE program.
The Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC, www.eac.gov.kh) is the regulator for the sector and, inter alia, has the responsibility for issuing licenses to all operators in the sector, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 7 and 35 of the Electricity Law promulgated by the Royal Decree NS/RKM/021/03, dated February 02, 2001.
Cambodia National Petroleum Authority (www.cnpa.gov.kh) regulates the petroleum sector, but its exact roles are not clear from the source.
Solar energy The current utilisation of solar power in the country is low. Total installed capacity between 1997 and 2002 reached 205 kW and increased to over 300 kW by the beginning of 2004. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation used a 10-year annual average solar irradiation of 5.0 kWh/m2/day, based on readings of 4.7 kWh/m2/day average in the lowest area and 5.3 kWh/m2/day in the highest area. It is estimated that the theoretical maximum potential surface solar irradiation could reach as much as 21 GWh/day (13 times the power generated by the national power utility in 2002. Solar photovoltaic systems in Cambodia currently produce 200–250 kWh. Projects with NEDO Japan, SIDA, other international and national institutions including Prime Minister Project, solar photovoltaic with the capacity of around 1.5 MW has been installed in the country.
Biomass energy Natural forests are the main source of fuel-wood in Cambodia. This resource has been severely degraded over the past 20 years due to widespread logging and conversion of forestland for various purposes. Biomass energy resources also include residues from plantation forests (rubber wood), agricultural crops (rice husk), livestock (cattle manure), municipal waste, and sewage.
Cambodia has significant biomass energy resources, either as standing biomass, including plantation forests such as rubber and fast growing tropical trees like Glyricidia and Acacia species, or as agricultural residues like rice husk, rice straw, corn cobs, palm oil extraction waste, cashew nut shells etc. According to a study carried out by MIME with Japan’s Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Cambodian Research Centre for Development (CRCD) in 2004, waste biomass (agricultural residues, domestic and animal waste) – excluding that biomass available from natural forests and waste timber from wood processing sector as well as rubber tree harvested at the end of their productive life─ has an estimated energy generation potential of nearly 19,000 GWhr per year. It can be used both for electrical energy generation, or converted into other fuels such as producer gas, biogas or a range of liquid fuels (the actual amount available for these options could be lower, since some of the waste is probably already being used for other purposes).
Biomass-based energy generation in Cambodia has gain momentum during last 2-3 years principally applying biomass gasification technology both for captive consumption as well as electricity generation and supply companies. Though biomass-based gasification system is quiet flexible in terms of its capacity as per requirement, hours of operation and duel fuel generators to ensure uninterrupted supply, however, gasifier electricity generation efficiency is low, application is limited for smaller capacity. In addition, the fuel used at present in major successful gasifiers fabricated locally is wood which may not be sustainable as demand increases and only a few use Indian technologies which make use of rice husk. Based on the conventional steam route, there are currently two operating units using biomass as fuel in this capacity range in Cambodia and only power is generated making system efficiency very low. Also little is known about their operation, maintenance, trouble shooting and efficiency in long term.
Biogas The effectiveness of small scale biogas has been demonstrated in Cambodia by a number of different projects. The use of animal wastes to generate high quality gas for cooking has significant economic, health, social and environment benefits for poor rural households. Projects with Canada in Battambang (7 kW + 20 kW) and with DEDE Thailand in Kompong Cham (30 kW) are completed. There are also ongoing projects in Sambour District, Kompong Thom Province with the capacity of 30 kW by FONDEM France by 2009 and a number of biomass gasfiers done by local investors.
Hydropower The technical potential of hydropower resources in Cambodia in terms of installed capacity is estimated at 10,000 MW. Around 50% of these resources are located in the Mekong River Basin, 40% on tributaries of the Mekong River, and the remaining 10% in the south-western coastal areas. Current use of hydropower resources is, however, relatively limited, and the current contribution to electricity production is less than 20 MW. At present, only two projects are operating, with an installed capacity of 13 MW, while four projects are being developed. Previous studies have identified 42 potential hydropower projects, with a total installed capacity of 1,825 MW, being capable of generating around 9,000 GWh/year of electricity.
Wind energy The Wind Energy Resources Atlas Report in South-east Asia that covers Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam shows that the theoretical wind energy resource potential in the country amounts to 1,380 MW. The report indicates good sites for the future development of wind energy, but the potential values must be taken cautiously, since the simulations to determine them were based on global winds, and were not supported by ground measurements. The southern part of the great lake Tonle Sap, the mountainous districts in the southwest and the coastal regions, such as Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong have the annual average wind speed of 5 m/s or greater, the total area around 5%. Pilot projects, in part financed by the government of Belgium and the European Commission, are currently in place in the country.
Biofuels The Jatropha Curcas and Cassava species appear to be a particularly suitable source of biofuel as it already grows commonly in Cambodia and has no other commercial value. One study suggests that the biofuel could be produced in Cambodia from Jatropha on a commercial basis for around US$0.53 per litre. This compares favourably with the current price of fossil fuel diesel at US$0.64 per litre. And the production cost of the biofuel is not likely to follow the rising trend of the international oil price. More than 10 companies are using Jatropha, planting around 1,000 ha, but there is no large scale production. One company from Korea has production capacity of ethanol 36,000 t/year from 100,000 tons of cassava.
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