The renewable energy penetration looks bullish in the South East Asia. The new evidence comes from the fact that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a transaction advisory services mandate with Cambodia’s national utility company Électricité du Cambodge (EDC) to support the development of 2 GW of solar power in Cambodia.
According to a statement by ADB, the mandate will help the country achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Under this mandate, ADB will help EDC conduct a nationwide study on opportunities for additional solar power capacity in combination with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), to be implemented from this year through 2030. ADB will also assist EDC in bidding out a 100 MW pilot project identified under the study to the private sector. The pilot project is expected to mobilize up to $100 million of investments and serve as a model to replicate fast and efficient procurement of affordable renewable power in Cambodia.
F Cleo Kawawaki, Head of ADB’s Office of Public–Private Partnership, said about the solar project, “It will lower electricity costs and improve energy security by taking advantage of domestic resources. We hope to contribute to this effort by supporting a well-planned pipeline for transparent bids that attract active competition to optimize the efficiency, innovation, and capital of the private sector to benefit the people of Cambodia.”
Cambodia’s new Power Development Masterplan recognizes the potential to further expand the capacity of solar PV, which is expected to exceed 3 GW in 2040. Improvement in grid stability through BESS adoption is imminent.
“ADB is pleased to support a green energy transition in Cambodia that will promote clean, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth through policy reform in energy planning and governance, improving grid stability, and energy efficiency,” said ADB Country Director for Cambodia Jyotsana Varma.
ADB is also supporting Cambodia’s first National Solar Park located in Kampong Chhnang that will generate up to 100 MW. The program will also build on BESS projects implemented by EDC with technical and financial assistance provided by ADB.
All the stakeholders, including ADB, look at harnessing Cambodia’s abundant solar resources, whose share in the installed capacity increased from practically nothing in 2016 to around 12% at the end of 2021.