Over the past few years a small energy revolution has taken place in the village of Bot Trang in northwest Cambodia. Bot Trang is not on Cambodia’s national grid: in the old days Mr. Tham Bun Hak, a local farmer, would supply 80 households in the village with electricity from his diesel fired generator – but now it’s all run on jatropha. With the assistance of local NGOs and public partnerships, Mr. Tham developed a jatropha project that has made jatropha oil twothird less expensive than diesel. Now more affordable electricity can be delivered to the village and because of that, every family has been able to save money. Besides electricity generation, Jatropha has brought other benefits. Villagers earn extra income by growing jatropha and that extra income can help fuel further entrepreneurship and business. For example, families such as the Tham family now have additional capital to make their business more efficient. The capital has given them the opportunity to replace old sewing machines with more efficient electric ones, and they are able to increase productivity. Other villages in Cambodia are now following Bot Trang’s example and using jatropha fuelled power. This case study illustrates that bioenergy can foster economic development and help to grow even small, local Green Economies.
From collection: Biofuels Vital Graphics - Powering Green Economy
Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal