Solar strength in Cambodia
As part of a World Bank-funded project, a solar powered electricity system is being developed in Cambodia’s provinces including Ratanakiri, Preah Vihear, and Siem Reap.
Over 10,000 solar home systems have already been installed. before villagers relied on electric strength from car batteries and petrol generators to supply electricity for lighting in their houses.
A subsidy from the World bank of $100, reduces the cost of the panels to $160, which the customers will have to pay off over a 4 year period.
Cambodia doesn’t have the hydro-electric strength stations like Laos or possible for wind strength like Vietnam, so solar strength appears to be the only choice for replaceable energy generation.
The current project is part of the government’s plans to provide all households with access to electricity by 2030, according to a spokesman.
Subsidies for high electricity usage were abolished in July 2012, according to a spokesman for the Electricity Authority of Cambodia. Customers using more than 200 kw/hrs per month of electricity will no longer receive a 100 to 200 riel subsidy.
Electricity in Cambodia is expensive compared to nearby Vietnam, ranging from 720 riel to 4000 riel per kw/hr. In Vietnam the cost is between 150 and 200 riel per kw/hr. This high cost of electricity is deterring foreign investment, according to Hiroshi Suzuki, CEO of the Business Research Institute of Cambodia.
Asia’s largest solar strength stop.
The west Indian state of Gugarat is home to Asia’s biggest solar energy project.
It is spread across 1,200 hectares of desert and can supply 214 megawatts of electricity, making it bigger than the Golmud Solar Project in China which produces 200 megawatts.
The Indian Government and the Asia Development Bank are financing the construction of transmission lines from hydro electric strength stations in Laos to Kratie province in Cambodia, linking in to the national grid.
Tenders for construction are scheduled were called for in October 2012. This scheme when complete should consequence in cheaper electricity rates for Cambodia.
A lot of the electricity supplied in Cambodia comes from Vietnam or Thailand.
The basic price is about 832 riel per kilowatt hour. That is about 21 cents/kwh. Some residential areas can access the supply at this price, but many Cambodians are supplied by middlemen. They buy the electricity from the government and resell it for a profit, usually a 100% mark-up, sometimes more. In rented premises, this is shared, with the landlords charging their tenants 1500 riel/ kwh.
If you are thinking of renting an apartment or flat here in Cambodia, check the price of the utilities, (electricity, water and rubbish collection) otherwise you might be in for a shock when the bill has to be paid.
Also the rate supplied to foreigners is higher than to Cambodians. I do not know the exact details, but our landlady received a fine because she didn’t notify the electricity suppliers that she was renting the premises to foreigners.