Cambodia has a new champion in the battle to get the government to adopt more renewable energy with the formation of Wind Energy Association Cambodia (WeaCam). It launched itself on Monday at a webinar attended by clean energy industry executives and a representative from the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
“The objective of the association is to try and represent various sectors and also establish an advocacy working group on wind power to promote the deployment of wind power and growth,” said WeaCam Chairman Varabott Ho. “The mission of the association is also to improve the knowledge, the education and the research which is related to wind energy,” he said.
In 2019 the Australian government helped fund a study into the Kingdom’s wind power potential. It found that three quarters of possible sites overlapped with protected areas such as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. It said the remaining sites could supply 1,420 megawatts (MW) of power. Stuart Thorncraft, Managing Consultant at Intelligent Energy Systems, which was involved in the study, said wind farms that overlap protected areas are still possible and Cambodia’s full wind power potential is closer to 6,750 MW of high quality power in 17 zones around the country.
Even though the potential is there it has not yet been harnessed. Singapore-headquartered power producer The Blue Circle’s 80 megawatt Bokor Wind Farm won’t get the go-ahead until it agrees a power purchase agreement with national monopoly Electricite du Cambodge (EDC). The Blue Circle is offering power for 6.88 cents per kilowatt hour, cheaper than the Kingdom’s coal plants. It is hoping for a decision from EDC before the end of the year.
The Blue Circle says the soaring cost of coal may persuade EDC to give it the go-ahead but it might take a push from the private sector.