Phnom Penh, Cambodia: As Cambodia continues to harness clean energy potential around the country, the European Union has signed two project agreements worth EUR 5.3 Million to promote sustainable consumption and production of energy sources and to put local SMEs on a track of a green recovery in Cambodia.
Funded by the European Union and Czech Development Agency, the Switch to Solar project will be implemented over a period of 4 years, starting from 2020 – 2024, by People In Need (PIN) and partners Sevea and Energy Lab to contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in rural areas of Cambodia. Approximately 1,140,000 women, men and children across 6 provinces and 15 districts in the Tonle Sap region will benefit from greater economic opportunities at the local level, a more sustainable natural environment, and greater access to environmentally-friendly products and services from target MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises).
“I believe this project will significantly contribute to the economic empowerment and livelihoods of people living in rural areas. Solar energy is currently one of the easiest to implement and fastest growing technologies in the field of renewable energy. With energy being the foundation of everything that is economically viable, there needs to be more focus on developing sustainable forms of energy in order to build a sustainable and functioning economy,” said Jerus D’Silva, PIN’s Program Manager for Economic Empowerment, Green Energy and WASH.
Key expected results from this project are that business models and technology solutions are designed and promoted; local solar technology providers’ capacities are strengthened; target MSMEs and consumers have improved awareness and access to a range of solar energy devices, financing options and customer services; improved business environment for solar technology solutions and established synergies among main stakeholders.
It should be noted that the action draws on more than 13 years of People In Need’s international experience supporting the development market-based renewable energy (RE) solutions in off-grid areas, including PIN’s 9-year experience with developing Cambodian markets with biogas and solar technologies.
The second EU funded project, “Promotion of sustainable energy practices in the garment sector in Cambodia” will promote clean energy practices – including energy efficiency but also rooftop solar and sustainable fuelwood – in garment manufacturing SMEs. Implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) together with the NGO Geres and the Garment Manufacturing Association of Cambodia (GMAC) over a four year period, this project will stimulate demand for sustainable energy technologies in garment manufacturing by raising awareness among factories around the strong business case for clean energy. The project will also work with banks and energy service providers to increase the supply of technologies, services and financial solutions for sustainable energy in manufacturing. Finally, the implementing partners will work with Cambodian government to strengthen the regulatory framework for clean energy in manufacturing.
“GGGI’s economic modelling projects that a 20% increase in energy efficiency in the garment sector would lead to an increase of 31% in energy productivity by 2030 and US$ 2 billion of avoided energy costs,” says Karolien Casaer-Diez, GGGI Country Representative in Cambodia. “As such, sustainable energy practices strengthen the competitiveness of Cambodian garment manufacturing. This creates employment opportunities direly needed in one of the sectors hardest hit by the global COVID19 pandemic.
GGGI is an intergovernmental organization that supports developing country governments transition to a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive. GGGI delivers policy and investment advice in over 30 partner countries. In the energy sector, GGGI works with Governments & private partners to transform energy markets, scale-up green investment, and achieve efficient use of energy resources across economic sectors.
“Our support will allow Cambodian SMEs harnessing the potential of green energy for developing agricultural value chains around the Tonle Sap and as well as for the garment sector. I am glad that with these projects the EU contributes to a green economic recovery, including the garment sector, which is hardly hit by the COVID19 pandemic, and rural businesses in provinces around Tonle Sap,” says EU Ambassador Carmen Moreno.