Before solar, Chanlita used a generator to power light bulbs, fans, a TV and – once in a while – a water pump to irrigate her rice field. With solar, Chanlita can not only power a sugar cane extractor and ice-cutting machine, she also can connect more devices and keep her business open later in the evening.
“It helps me save time and is more convenient,” she said. “The generator was noisy and it was hard work to start it.”
Chanlita’s village, Steung Chrov, is in Kampong Chhnang province, on an island in the Tonle Sap River.
Solar power is transforming remote communities like Steung Chrov with affordable, renewable energy and the chance to live more productive lives. But hundreds of other villages remain off the grid, and energy experts say Cambodia should be doing more to harness the country’s immense amount of untapped sunlight.