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
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 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
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.