The national grid in Cambodia is a patchwork of inefficient regional grids that extend from the major cities out into the countryside. One successful solution to providing reliable, affordable and green electricity to Cambodia's small rural industries is to produce gas from agricultural waste such as rice husks, through installing biomass gasifiers.
These can help power rice, brick, textile and ice industries in rural Cambodia. The systems reduce energy costs by replacing diesel, which can save rural businesses up to US$50,000 a year, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tons per system per year. Installing a gasifier requires an initial investment of $70,000, but the substantial savings of independence from the grid can result in a payback period as short as two years. Electricity generated by a biomass gasification system can cost as little as half that of grid electricity. Operations also improve as industries increase control of their energy supply and are not forced to shut down during frequent blackouts.
One company, SME Renewable Energy Ltd. (SME RE), have installed 32 gasifiers, eliminating the need for over 3 million liters of diesel fuel, and reducing carbon emissions by over 9,000 tons per annum.
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