A senior official at the Ministry of Mines and Energy says Cambodia needs to invest at least $3 billion in the energy sector from now until 2040 to ensure energy efficiency, while the Ministry of Economy and Finance calls on development partners to support this sector as the Kingdom moves towards renewable energy.

Responding to questions from journalists at the "Sectoral Policy Dialogue in Cambodia" forum, energy ministry undersecretary of state Victor Jona noted that a “long-term energy demand” study for the years 2020-40 that was supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was completed last year.

He said the study focused on three key areas: Long-term energy demand, provision of additional energy sources each year to meet demand and connectivity in the energy sector.

"The capital and 24 provinces are all connected to the main transmission cables, but some cables are overloaded and some areas need supply doubled," he said.

Along with the aforementioned key factors, he said the study urged the launch of energy efficiency policies that will help save energy through the use of low-power appliances.

The study, which focused on energy interactions beyond electricity and also covered the transport sector, encouraged the use of electric vehicles (EV), which will be part of green energy development and contribute to clean energy to combat global warming.

He said the Cambodian energy sector was impacted by global changes, including the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine armed conflict, which has also contributed to rising energy costs for gasoline and coal that has led to inflation.

Despite the tumultuous global changes, the state-run Electricity of Cambodia (EDC) has continued to supply local consumers at a fixed price, he noted.

Jona said that at the end of 2022, renewable energy sources from hydropower and solar energy accounted for up to 40 per cent of Cambodia's total energy resources.

However, finance ministry secretary of state Vongsey Visoth stated that Cambodia was able to source 62 per cent of its needs from renewable energy in 2022 due to heavy rains, which increased the power from the dams.

Visoth said Cambodia generated a total of more than 4,000 megawatts of energy in 2022, but the demand for energy would only increase.

Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) vice-president Lim Heng requested that the government and development partners promote waste recycling for power generation, which would make Cambodia cleaner and more energy efficient.

In response, Visoth pointed out the obstacles to the development of waste recycling for electricity generation, such as the high costs.

He claimed that Cambodia is on the right track in developing renewable energy, especially through the development of hydropower and solar energy.

"Sixty-two per cent of our energy is solar and hydropower, but I wonder why foreign partners are still finding time to trouble us about clean energy. The work needs to be opened up with more investment done together,” he said.