Energy and Development Discourse in Cambodia: Gaps Between Energy Infrastructure for Industrial Development and Energy Needs of People


As the Royal Government of Cambodia attempts to lead the country from least developed to a middle income status country as classified by the United Nations, the relationship between energy and development policies and energy provision becomes a priority. Key energy and related development policy documents were collected and subjected to discourse analysis. The analysis also included transcripts of interviews with participants from the solar energy industry, development NGO’s and the United Nations in Cambodia. This mixed-method investigation has identified substantial gaps between a path towards centralized energy generation with large-scale hydroelectricity and a path to decentralized energy generation including off grid, household and utility scale solar PV. With limited grid access in the rural areas of Cambodia, the policy documents recognise the role of decentralized renewable energy, particularly solar PV and small scale hydro power. They also place significant emphasis on the private sector providing energy services. However, this research has identified a lack of policy framework and incentives for providing energy for people in much of the country. It also identifies an opportunity to overcome the absence of energy network infrastructure through the adaption of supportive policy settings for transitioning Cambodia’s energy sector to include a mix of decentralized renewable energy, largely comprising solar PV with grid integration where available. Additionally, more proactive energy projections and planning for energy services is required to meet the needs of industry and people.

Author Information
Maureen Boyle, Curtin University, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2018
Stream: Energy: Renewable Energy and Environmental Solutions

This paper is part of the ACSEE2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon