EnergyLab, a nonprofit organisation that supports the growth of the clean energy market, has chosen Cambodian wind farm developer Sophorn Chea as this year’s Clean Energy Advocate Award winner.
The award is part of the annual “Clean Energy Week Cambodia”, a week-long event that aims to promote clean energy entrepreneurs and businesses and is given to outstanding individuals and companies in the field.
Chea was presented the 2020 prize by Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang.
Talking during the presentation, Country Director of EnergyLab Cambodia Bridget McIntosh said: “There aren’t many Cambodians with experience developing wind farms – as you know there are no wind farms in Cambodia. Yet, Chea has worked in the wind industry for over seven years and came back to Cambodia more than two years ago to develop Cambodia’s first wind farm.”
She added: “Most importantly, Chea is blowing that long-held myth away that Cambodia doesn’t really have good wind resource for electricity production. But by getting out there and installing 50-metre tall monitoring masts, hiking for hours to get there and installing monitoring equipment across the country, Chea has now developed a wind farm that can create electricity cheaper than coal in Cambodia. Through his hard work we hope to see Cambodia’s first wind farm, providing balance and sustainability for years to come.”
Chea, who currently works at The Blue Circle, a company that specialises in identifying, developing, financing, owning and operating renewable energy projects in complex and challenges area of the Asia-Pacific region, said he was delighted with the award.
In 2019, the Clean Energy Advocate Award was won by Chin Ol, who was chosen because of her efforts to promote the EcoSun portable solar pump.
Ol said: “Water pumps are important for agriculture in rural Cambodia so solar pumps offer a valuable, portable and green solution for farmers. It is the ideal tool to help smallholder farmers irrigate their fields further from their house in the dry season,” she said.
“The initial cost may be higher for a solar pump, but within one or two years they can make that money back on the investment. Once they are installed, they will get free energy every day,” she added.
“Diesel pumps can be harmful to people who operate them and especially children who breathe in the fumes. Solar pumps are a safer option and reduce noise pollution,” she added.
Regarding this year’s event, which was sponsored and supported by the Australian embassy and the United Nations Development Programme as well as a range of other partners, McIntosh said: “Clean Energy Week is designed to celebrate the opportunities clean energy can bring to Cambodia.”
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.