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Unreliable Grid, Reliance on Petrol Prompt Solar Development in Cambodia

Flagrant, daily problems with grid reliability and over-reliance on petrol are the best reasons for Phnom Penh, Cambodia to add more solar to its electricity supply.

“The market in Cambodia is screaming out for an alternative to grid supplied power,” Phil Stone, general manager of Australia-based Star 8, told Renewable Energy World. “The whole country has now accepted that every day, you will be without electricity for a period of time.”

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“Star 8 is one of the latest solar companies to set up shop in Cambodia, a country of eight million people,” Eaton writes. “With its proximity to the equator and solar irradiance, Stone said the country is attractive for solar businesses.”

The company opened a warehouse and showroom in Cambodia in 2014, and has also pioneered a solar-powered version of the tuk-tuk, a popular mode of transportation throughout southeast Asia. Star 8 founder Jacob Maimon got the idea for the solar vehicle after learning that drivers of conventional tuk-tuks must spend $12 of the $15 they earn each day on fuel.

Since then, “a non-governmental organization called Aziza’s Place started using the country’s first solar-powered tuk-tuk for its mobile coffee cart that employs women who previously worked on hazardous waste dumps,” Eaton reports.

“The benefit to the Cambodian people is a huge reduction in pollution levels,” Stone said. “If you take that amount of combustion engines off the road, the reduction in emissions will be evident straight away.”