The Electricity Authority of Cambodia (EAC) was established under the Electricity Law (2001) to regulate the power sector. Each of the electricity provider is required to obtain a license from EAC. Environment Protection and Natural Resource Management Law (1996) was introduced to reduce adverse effects of power sector on the environment. The law obliges all energy-related project developers to perform Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA), which then must be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Steering Committee and the Project Review Teams.

Cambodia’s Power Strategy under the Energy Policy sets three major developments:

  1. Development of Generation;
  2. Development of Transmission Lines;
  3. Development of Rural Electrification.

Cambodia considers renewable energy as a tool for rural development. The Master Plan Study on Rural Electrification by Renewable Energy in the Kingdom of Cambodia in 2012 defines rural electrification in three levels: (i) battery lighting, (ii) mini-grid, and (iii) national grid. The plan aims to provide universal village electrification via mini-grid or battery lighting by 2020. The grid quality electrification is expected to reach 70% of household by 2030. The targets are to be achieved by grid expansion, mini-grid, cross-border supply from neighboring countries, and indigenous renewable energy sources.

As stated in the energy Master Plan by Ministry of Mines and Energy, all 23 provinces and Phnom Penh will be connected to the national power grid by year 2018. The strategy on power sector aims to ensure an energy supply nationwide with affordable prices in order to facilitate the economic development that mostly coming from garment manufacturing.



List of Government Organisations :

Electricity Authority of Cambodia

Ministry of Development

The latest available energy balance of Cambodia for year 2015 was reported by ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) based on the available data from Cambodia Ministry of Mines and Energy (Figure 1). The CambodiaTotal Primary Energy Supply (TPES) in 2015 amounted to 4,760 ktoe. Biomass is the dominant source of energy in the national energy mix (44%). However, the application of biomass is limited to almost exclusively thermal energy generation in the residential sector. The biomass sources come mainly from the plantation forests (e.g. rubber wood) and agricultural crops (e.g. rice husk).

Cambodia's Primary Energy Supply in 2015 (%)

Source: Ministry of Mines and Energy. Cambodia National Energy Statistics

The electricity generation in Cambodia is shown on Figure 2 where coal is the dominant source for domestic power generation that contributes to 44.2% of total electricity supply. Hydropower has the second largest share of 33.6%. Since Cambodia is unable to generate sufficient electricity to cover its demand, a moderate amount of electricity (17.8%) is imported from the neighbouring countries i.e. Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam. A small amount of electricity is generated from biomass using gasification technology, but it is limited to small-scale applications only. In 2017, Cambodia has the very first time put solar power generation plan in operation with 10 MW capacity.

Cambodia's Electricity Generation by Source in 2017 (%)

Source: Electricity Authority Cambodia (EAC): Yearly Report on Power Sector (2018)

There is a large number of electricity generation licensees in Cambodia. The EAC partially regulates the tariff by implementing the Cost Adjustment Mechanism. However, licensees are meant to define the applicable tariff independently. As a result, there is no unified electricity tariff in Cambodia and the tariff ranges from 0.12 USD/kWh to as high as 0.92 USD/kWh in some remote areas.

According to National Bank of Cambodia, although Cambodia is a low-income country, the electricity tariff in Cambodia right now is the highest in ASEAN region. This condition makes the country struggles to be more competitive as manufacturing destination. However, the government is confident that within five to ten years the electricity tariff in Cambodia can be one of the lowest among ASEAN member states.

Since 2018, according to Electricity Authority of Cambodia, the electricity tariff is as following:

  • Industrial and commercial customers:
    • Purchase from grid substation                          : 0.13 USD/kWh
    • Purchase from national grid                              : 0.17 USD/kWh
    • Purchase from Provincial grid                           : 0.17 USD/kWh
  • Residential Customers
    • Supplied by EDC                                                   : 0.19 USD/kWh
    • Supplied by Licensees (REEs)                            : 0.20 USD/kWh
  • Subsidized tariff for poor households and agriculture
    • Urban consumers with use < 50kWh/Month : 0.15 USD/kWh
    • Rural consumers with use < 10kWh/Month   : 0.12 USD/kWh
    • Pumping in Agriculture Sector                           : 0.12 USD/kWh

The rate of electrification in Cambodia is considerably low with an average of 65%. There is a significant difference between urban and rural areas (100% and 35% electrification rate respectively), which highlights the disparity between development in urban and rural area.