Policy gap analysis aims to identify how to better promote renewable energy technologies in Cambodia

Policy gap analysis aims to identify how to better promote renewable energy technologies in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, 16 August 2018 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of Cambodia (MIH), jointly organized a consultative workshop to provide an opportunity for relevant stakeholders to discuss and identify main policy gaps and develop key recommendations for the promotion of renewable energy (RE) technologies in Cambodia.

Cambodia has made impressive progress with connecting its population to the electrical grid. Presently, 71.5 per cent of Cambodian households have access to grid electrification. The country is also on the track to attaining the national electrification target of 90 per cent of households by 2030.  In this context, the development of solar- and biomass-based technologies offers clean and sustainable energy solutions, which foster Cambodia’s ambition to secure energy for all and comply with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nick Beresford, the country director of UNDP, noted that, Cambodia should adopt innovations by taking advantage of lessons learned from other countries for its renewable energy development and the corresponding enabling policies and regulations. With the cost of renewable energy expected to fall in coming years, there is a significant opportunity for the country to reach the national energy security and aspiration for access to clean and affordable energy for the people of Cambodia and industrial development. 

However, one of the challenges in unlocking the opportunity for renewable energy has been the lack of an enabling policy framework. Concrete time-bound renewable energy targets and roadmaps are not yet clearly defined, neither are policy measures and instruments that promote the adoption of renewable energy such as feed-in tariffs (FiT) or net-metering. Moreover, current energy policies do not provide a clear signal for investors given that electricity generated through RE is not allowed to be connected to the national grid, except for a pilot solar project with 10MW financed by ADB in Bavet City.

With regards to the importance of the enabling policy, Sovanrith PHORK, Secretary of State at Ministry of Industry and Handicraft of Cambodia, noted that “The National Renewable Energy Policy will encourage companies, enterprises, producers as well as the government to consider the potential of adoption of renewable energy in the industry as a mean to gain lower energy costs to attract more investors.”

UNIDO Country Representative Narin SOK further added that “The favorable regulatory environment is very much needed as one of the main contributors to harnessing the potential and abundant renewable energies like solar, wind power and particularly agricultural waste biomass that are currently untapped.”

The workshop looked at current barriers hindering renewable energy development and sought to identify key recommendations for government consideration with the aim to promote RE in Cambodia. It brought together about 50 participants from government, technical line ministries, development partners, financial institutions, industrial/private sector companies, and renewable energy project developers.The workshop was held as a part of the project “Climate change related technology transfer for Cambodia: Using agricultural residue biomass for sustainable energy solutions,” funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under its Poznan strategic programme on technology transfer.

For more information, please contact:

UNIDO Office in Cambodia


Samruol IM

Communications Analyst

UNDP Cambodia