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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a transaction advisory services mandate with Cambodia’s national utility company Électricité du Cambodge (EDC) to support the development of 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar power in Cambodia. 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-megawatt pilot project identified under the study to the private sector, which will build, finance, and operate the project. 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.
This development of 2 GW of solar power is in line with the strategy of the Cambodian government to meet its growing energy demand by maximizing the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Key to this strategy will be 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.
“This program will be Cambodia’s most ambitious yet in the renewable sector,” said Head of ADB’s Office of Public–Private Partnership F. Cleo Kawawaki. “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. As the share of solar increases, there is a need to improve grid stability through the adoption of BESS.
“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.
The mandate builds on ADB’s earlier support to Cambodia’s solar sector, including through the country’s first National Solar Park located in Kampong Chhnang, which will generate up to 100 MW of solar power. The program will also build on BESS projects implemented by EDC with technical and financial assistance provided by ADB.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region