News 2013

Cambodia policymakers turn to Sunlabob rural energy efficiency expertise

Sunlabob CEO integral in development of Cambodia’s “National Policy, Strategy and Action Plan on Energy Efficiency”

Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter, as part of a group of international experts, recently delivered a policy and action plan to the Royal Government of Cambodia for implementation of a national energy efficiency strategy. On behalf of the EU Energy Initiative (EUEI), Schroeter and the group presented a strategy and recommendations focused on five priority sectors to create the most impactful energy efficiency results: industry, buildings, end-user products, rural electricity supply and improved use of biomass.

“The lack of an integrated national grid, the high cost of imported diesel fuel, and the rising demand for power have made electricity in Cambodia among the costliest in the world,” said Schroeter, whose focus was determining energy efficiency opportunities for rural electricity generation and distribution.

An overall reduction of future energy demand of 20% by 2035 is attainable if sufficient political and administrative frameworks are put into place, according to the project team’s study which was conducted through the EUEI Partnership Dialogue Facility in partnership with the Cambodian Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME).

“Now is the time for national energy efficiency measures to be implemented; the country’s leadership has commendably recognized greater efficiency will contribute to more sustainable development, economically and socially,” added Ralph Pfoertner, managing director of INTEGRATION Environment & Energy, the independent sustainable development consultancy commissioned to convene the expert group.

The most significant energy saving opportunities appear to be in the rural electrification and biomass consumption subsectors. The study estimated that the rural electrification sector has an energy saving potential of up to 80% if the massive generation and distribution losses currently present can be reduced significantly. The biomass subsector has an energy saving potential of 30-50% if improved cooking stoves and more efficient charcoal kilns are implemented.

Other actionable recommendations include establishing a national “green” building code, increasing the availability and awareness of energy-efficient end-users products, and providing training for factory and building managers.

“Energy efficiency is a cross-cutting issue that not only needs a clear national policy, but also requires changes in the behaviors and habits of end-users including homeowners and businesses,” added Schroeter, who has also contributed to energy efficiency policy planning and implementation in Laos.

The national strategy and action plan is ready and waiting for adoption by Cambodia’s Council of Ministries in 2013.