New renewable energy agenda revealed at Ministry of Mines and Energy meeting

On Monday 4 December, Minister of Mines and Energy H.E. Keo Rottanak announced a revision of the Power Development Plan announced last year among other revolutionary approaches to the entire mines and energy sector of Cambodia. 

The new plan includes an substantial increase in renewable energy (hydro, solar and biomass) to at least 70% by 2030! An astonishing number considering that Solar and hydro global averages. This will surely put Cambodia on the top spot of RE in Asia and in the world. EUROCHAM congratulates the Gov. of Cambodia and the MME in particular for setting up extremely ambitious plan, anxiously waiting for the details that will take place in the new PDP 2024. Along with this, a regional interconnectivity (smart grid) will be attempted among SEA states (Vietnam/Laos/Indonesia/Thailand/Malaysia). The minister asked the international community and the financing stakeholders (ADB/KfW/World Bank/ etc.) to actively participate in the call.

The Cambodian Government has the huge task of delivering reliant electricity into the grid for the next decade and more, most of the efforts are going towards this direction and thus the decision of converting the project from Coal to LNG was also taken. This certainly goes in a welcome direction (having gas less GHG emissions than pure coal), however, keeping in mind that the cost of fossil fuel (LNG is one of them) have proven to be erratic and unstable (not to mention that also gas has to be imported), Cambodia has also the problem of sourcing cheaper electricity. 

Therefore, this could well be another reason for adopting a more progressive stance on Solar rooftop for private entities in the interest of Energy Efficiency as well. The minister explained that the equality rule suggests a more cautious stance on this front.

The next decisions on the new regulations over private solar rooftop will prove decisive for a sector that could potentially create several tens of thousands of qualified employment jobs.

Along with a new Grid mix, the Energy Efficiency plan will complement the energy thirsty country (although on this part a lot has to be done in terms of setting up rules and regulations to satisfy these ambitions). 

For the mines sector the honorable minister assured that MME lead the way to NETZERO, having in mind Job security for Cambodians (with focus on women and vulnerable groups). Mine sector will be more responsible, cracking on illegal mining, with investment in mine sector that will protect communities.

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