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With financial support from the ESMAP program of the World Bank through the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) Action Program Fund - GAPFund, IIEC is working with local partners in Cambodia to assess the feasibility of a new sustainable business model of biofuel-based off-grid rural electrification. IIEC also will assess the use of biofuels as substitute fuels for diesel in conventional generation. In Cambodia, about 85% of 15 million people (in 2.7 million households) still live in rural areas, and less than 10% of which have access to quality electricity supply. Most rural people rely on electricity services from small stand-alone grids operated by Rural Electricity Enterprises (REEs) and rechargeable car-batteries. It is estimated that there are more than 600 REEs and 1,500 commercial battery-charging stations throughout Cambodia. These businesses are operated by local entrepreneurs using diesel generator sets and the grids are constructed from materials locally available. Considerable system losses due to poor design and construction in combination with rising diesel oil price make poor rural communities in Cambodia face some of the highest electricity costs in the world at an average of more than US$0.50 per kWh.

 

IIEC aims to complete the assessment in mid-2007 and recommendations on sustainable biofuel-based rural electrification solutions will be submitted to the Cambodian government. The business models will support community development activities associated with biofuel production, e.g. from Jatropha, and utilization. The project was officially commenced with an inception meeting organized in Phnom Penh on December 18th, 2006. The meeting was attended by representatives of key government agencies, NGOs, REEs, and academic institutes. The inception meeting also formed a project advisory committee to support the project implementation and ensure that the outcomes will suit well with the Cambodian context. For more information, please visit the project website at www.bio2power.org or contact Sommai Phon-Amnuaisuk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .