PHNOM PENH, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 7.64-million-U.S. dollar loan to support the construction of a 100-megawatt (MW) solar power park in Cambodia, said its press release on Friday.
The project will help the country develop renewable energy resources, diversify its energy mix, and improve the competitiveness of its economy, the release said.
"Having reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy sources is crucial for the economic development of a rapidly expanding country such as Cambodia," said ADB Principal Climate Change Specialist Pradeep Tharakan.
"ADB's assistance will not only help diversify Cambodia's energy mix through solar power development, but also help the country meet its greenhouse gas emissions reductions target, as per the Paris climate agreement," he said.
Despite significant progress in developing the country's power network, nearly 5 million Cambodians still lack access to electricity, the release said.
In 2018, Cambodia's installed electricity capacity totaled nearly 2,175 MWs, with hydropower accounting for 1,330 MWs, or about 62 percent, and fossil fuels-based generation accounting for 780 MWs, or about 36 percent, it added.
"Despite having an abundance of solar radiation, current solar generation capacity in the country is only 10 MWs," the release said. "ADB's studies show that Cambodia can add about 200 MW of solar energy to the grid by 2021, using available technology and without disrupting the grid."
The National Solar Park Project will enable the Electricity of Cambodia to construct a 100-MW capacity solar power park and other related facilities, including access roads, fencing, and drainage systems, in Kampong Chhnang province, north of Phnom Penh.