SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) is a not-for-profit international development organisation from the Netherlands. Founded in 1965, we have built a solid local presence in many of the poorest countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In renewable energy, we focus on the themes climate change and sustainable energy markets, under which we engage in clean cooking and heating, as well as off-grid electricity.
Only 35% of households in Cambodia have access to grid electricity, mostly in urban areas. More than 1.6 million rural households currently depend on kerosene and rechargeable car batteries for basic lighting and electricity. Key challenges to the adoption of solar solutions are: a lack of consumer trust in solar, low consumer awareness of the benefits of solar, limited last-mile distribution by solar firms, a lack of financing schemes, limited business management & technical skills among solar staff, and poor sector coordination & policy frameworks.
Affordable small solar home systems (SHS) represent an excellent opportunity to bring modern energy services to rural Cambodian households.
SNV implements a technical assistance program in Cambodia that aims to catalyse the development of a sustainable local off-grid solar energy industry to improve energy access for rural households. The intervention is the largest household solar market development initiative in the country to-date, aiming to support the private sector-led delivery of 25,000 SHSs and solar lighting kits to un-electrified rural households nationwide by 2018, while establishing sustainable market structures to benefit local solar entrepreneurs for years to come.
The total cost of the programme is €8 million; this includes a $6 million concessional loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU) to offer the first-ever dedicated low-interest consumer loans for investment in SHSs in Cambodia.
As of September 2016, 1,387 rural households had already purchased a certified solar product from one of the six accredited solar suppliers. Quality product and associated customer services are now available in 14 out of 25 provinces in Cambodia. Half of these sales used one of the 687 solar loans from the four partner MFIs, with a total amount disbursed of USD 355,524. And implementation of the first 12 awareness raising campaigns helped to reach and educate about 12,000 rural Cambodians.