De-risking Energy Efficiency Investment in Cambodia through the ESCO Approach

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA – November 5, 2019, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, co-hosted the “De-risking Energy Efficiency Investments: the ESCO Approach” workshop in Phnom Penh. The workshop is one of the many events taking places around the city as part of Clean Energy Week 2019, Cambodia’s biggest convention on clean energy.

The goal of the workshop was to build awareness about the Energy Services Company (ESCO) approach and how it can be adopted in Cambodia to de-risk energy efficiency investments and improve access to finance by the SME manufacturing sector. The workshop included interactive discussions about how the ESCO approach can be used to overcome investment barriers and support the strategic business objectives of manufacturing SMEs.

Seventy people, from line ministries, energy service companies, and small & medium enterprises, attended the discussion and presentations which was chaired by H.E Dr. Sat Samy, Secretary of State of the Industry and Handicraft Ministry. In his opening speech, H.E Sat Samy emphasized the importance of energy efficiency and the potential for energy efficiency finance to build on past initiatives in Cambodia. The Royal Government of Cambodia encouraged the country to push on energy saving. Based on the Industrial Development Policy 2015-2025, we must ensure that the small and medium enterprises are aligned with and support the country’s industry sector for job creation, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

“Seeing the importance of SMEs, energy efficiency approach is rather crucial to reduce the cost of the product or service and reducing the impacts on our environment,” explained H.E Sat Samy in his opening speech.

GGGI’s energy advisor, Mr. Bradley Abbott, kicked off the schedule with a presentation explaining the need for energy efficiency in Cambodian context, basics of the ESCO approach, and case studies. His presentation ended with a discussion session where attendees raised questions for clarification on what the ESCO approach entails and how Cambodian companies can offer ESCO services. The Q&A exchange also included discussion on other strategic benefits of using the ESCO approach such as leveraging the demand for greater environmental sustainability in manufacturing value chains to finance energy and resource efficiency projects.

The workshop also included additional presentations about market experience by an established ESCO operating in Cambodia and a locally owned energy efficiency consulting company.

Cambodia is currently making a shift towards clean and renewable energy. There is immense potential in Cambodia for energy efficiency investments to strengthen the national economy while contributing to the global fight against climate change. Prioritizing the efficient use of energy in Cambodia is a win-win proposition and strategic to achieving national development goals.