Electricity in Cambodia | Higher Demand Annually

Electricity: Economics, Infrastructure & Access exploration 

As a  developing country, numerous Infrastructure and industry take up a huge part of the robust growth in Cambodia’s economy. To continued, electricity is needed to supply and provide energy to those fields. Those energy sources are produced in various ways such as biomass, hydropower, solar panel, wind power, and coal power plant. With the need for electricity, the demand is increasing every year.

Earlier this year, I have the privilege to participate in an Electricity exploration. In Electricity exploration, we covered 3 main topics including Economics, Infrastructure, and Access. During the exploration, we explore electricity in Cambodia, the implications and its method and affect by taking a trip to different places such as Energy Lab, Okra solar and Blue circle.

EnergyLab and ISPP 

  • Mr. Andrew Williamson presenting

As an opportunity to understand deeper into the topic of renewable energy and its rise in Cambodia and the world, we visited EnergyLab. This company encourages startup entrepreneurs to create more clean energy by providing numerous resources and skills. With the global vision of renewable energy, the company implements different programs and events allowing different people to come in groups for networking, learn, share experience and collaborate as a team. 

Mr. Andrew Williamson presented us with different energy sources. Furthermore, with Cambodia’s GDP increase 7 percent annually and electricity demand grows from 12 to 17 percent annually,  renewable energy consists main of wind and solar will be our most reliable option to include in the Cambodia national grid. At last, the presentation shows the decrements of price in renewable energy compare to other sources like coal and oil. This shows that developing countries in Cambodia will be able to afford those technologies and implement them in our country. 

EnergyLab was founded to support new business and technological initiatives that move Australia and the world toward 100% clean energy solutions” – EnergyLab

After the presentation, we visited  ISPP to see a solar power system is now supplying 1MW cover half of the school’s electricity needs every month. They save a lot of money without the dependence entirely on the grid. When electricity cut off from the grid, they use electricity that the sun produced. One of the financial problems they faced is the tariff. While saving a lot of money, the government has set a tariff they needed to pay. While the price is increasing, the amount of money they saved is less than before. Among the mechanism, they have a controller to control the flow of electricity. By doing this they ensure they electricity will not flow into the grid and damage the grid system. In conclusion, the solar system help school in both financial and environmental way. 

Okra solar

  • One of the staff from Okra explaining us about the mini-grid

“Okra plug-and-play smart grids combine the flexibility of standalone PAYG solar systems with the power availability of fully-fledged mini-grids.” said okra. We went to a village called Kbal Domrey located in Kampong Speu province along the company to understand people’s lives off-grid. It was fascinating how the mini-grid can provide efficient and reliable energy to all of the villages at an affordable price. Many of the family who uses the service from the company mention that it has improved their life by allowing them to use electrical appliances for entertainment or business. Most of them used to have solar on their own but it was very expensive when a battery stopped working. With the service, the company provides a high-quality service to ensure the system is working.  

Empowering People Through Energy Access” – OkraSolar

Blue Circle

  • A presentation about energy from Blue Circle Company

Wind energy work from the course of wind that spin the turbine which created a force to spin the other gears to create electricity. Producing electricity through wind energy help to reduce co² emissions, At the moment, Cambodia does not own any wind project under operation. Fortunately, researches conducted by Blue circle shows the potential of building the infrastructure in Cambodia. Throughout the presentation from the staff in Blue circle company, we’ve learned about how they conduct research, the importance of renewable energy, the future vision, the price, the change of energy sources in Cambodia and worldwide. 

The Blue Circle brings clean, renewable and affordable energy to southeast Asia” – The Blue Circle

How has my perspective change about electricity?

After exploring about electricity, my perspective has a vast difference compared to when the exploration first started. In ancient times, electricity might be very valuable and fascinating but in this present time, it has changed. I grew up in a city where clicking a switch and using electrical appliances are a habit. Electricity supplies my home at every time of the day.  

By understanding the process of making electricity, I can give more value to all of the operations behind the energy supplying country. Some of the sources of energy such as coal fireplants make me understand that as a part of using electricity, I am also part of creating co² emission. It creates a desire in me to help improve the environment and support renewable energy in my country. In addition, I learn to save energy not just to decrease the bill but to help the planet I am living in. Now I have learned to appreciate and be grateful for the ability to access electricity on-grid for all the convenient and for the fact that off-grid villages do not. 

Indigenous community | Exploration

Indigenous community is an exploration to promote and raise awareness about other Indigenous groups daily lifestyle, culture, and history. To do this we have to go and explore the places they were living in. It was 7 weeks project for us to go on a trip with the goal to create a book. We have two main trips to Kampong Speu Province and Mondulkiri.

Trip to Kampong Speu

  • A group photo with ingenious community of Souy

We have interviewed so many indigenous people and learned about their daily life. In Kampong Speu, we met an indigenous group called “Suoy”. There are so many interesting folklore and taboo they practice which was very interesting. After interviewing them we also visited a very famous place called Hot spring that has very popular folklore from the souy community.

Trip to Ratanakiri

  • This is Tompoun Weaver house, but they don’t use it right now. They do the weaver at their house

Besides going to Kampong Speu, we spend 5 days in Ratanakiri. We didn’t only visit one indigenous minority group but we visited 4 indigenous community such as Kachok, Tompoun, Jarai, kroeung, and an organization. One of my highlights would be their handmade product which is very beautiful and helpful for daily life even without modern technology. Furthermore, some of the house of the community and the way they lived together is very unique. 

For Ratanakiri, itself is a precious province with a lot of mountain and nature surrounding us. The mountain some are high and short with forest yellow flower planted on the top. The sound of nature in the morning was relaxing and also very nice to be away from all the technology in the city. 

What we have learned?

During the trip to Kampong Speu, every student have a different task for interviewing such as geography, population, history, language, folklore, story, belief, culture tradition, food, sonorm, and art. A skill we were developing was interviewing skill with strangers. While we were interviewing, due to the different language it isn’t always easy to speak. Fortunately, they are very friendly toward us and after speaking together for a while they share a lot of story with us. 

Their daily life was very interesting and follow as it adapts to the place they live. They have believed in their ancestor and most of the group are very strict about all the believes. A fascinating fact about the indigenous community that lives near each other, some of them are very similar to the culture and taboo. I’ve interviewed a lot of people in different community but some of them even have the same last name. Lastly, our final product was a documentary book and blog you can visit.

Traveling Community Theater

 

  • This is the 1st example of the Theater 3D model

The excitement came after I knew I was going to be a part of Traveling community theater. The purpose of the exploration is to create movable theater that can travel anywhere in Cambodia. One more of our main goal is for Cambodia to gain experience from our movable theatre and gain knowledge from watching our educational play.

There are so many groups were divided among the member of 15 students. Groups changes over the period of 7 weeks. After divided group brainstorming, the teacher divided us into bigger groups such as video, 3D model, logo, crowdfunding,  and animation. I was in the 3d model group which I and my another teammate need to create one or more models of how our theater will look like in Sketchup. It was very useful because we get more idea after studying from the 3d models. I’ve learned to know very well about SketchUp and get creative about it. Before the 7 weeks end, we have some time to prepare the products and presentation for the sharation(The event that liger host to give the opportunity for students to share what they’ve learned). The task of my team is to print them in 3d models. Unfortunately, It didn’t go well with as plans because the 3d printing magic broke. Luckily, my team came up with a new solution which we can show the audience the model in the computer with animation.

In general, I had a lot of joy in participating and looking forward to the actual theatre to exist in real life. The exploration will continue for the next round that gives other students to have an opportunity for the new skill.