Case studies

Case Studies

  1. Application of Solar Energy in Don Bosco Technical School, Cambodia (see below)
  2. Small Scale Rice Husk Gasification in Cambodia (click to read )



Application of Solar Energy in Don Bosco Technical School, Cambodia





Located by the coastal city Sihanoukville of Cambodia, Don Bosco Technical School was established to alleviate poverty through education. During 2012-2013, the school accommodated around 5,000 students who have come from disadvantage background throughout Cambodia.

Don Bosco offers various vocational educational programmes to students. Within the compound, there are workshops for technical training and a Hotel School for hospitality education.

The application fee starts at US$1 in order to enable the students to afford it. Most of students from Don Bosco School enter into workforce shortly after graduation.

The electricity consumption of the school is around 350 MWh per year. At the electricity price of US$0.28 per KWh[1], or around US$98,000 electricity bill annually. This leads to a high financial burden for the School. Don Bosco therefore looked into options to reduce the electricity bill. One of the most promising solutions was installation of a solar-pv system. 


The Project 4-C-040 “The First Large Scale Grid-Connected Solar Energy Project in Cambodia” One of the key barriers for solar energy is the high cost of the energy storage in batteries. This cost can be avoided by using net-metering; consisting on grid tied systems that trade energy surplus and deficit with the grid. However the lack of a net-metering or feed-in-tariff policy in Cambodia makes this option challenging. To overcome this barrier and reduce the electricity bill, Don Bosco Technical School decided to install a 115 KWh solar-PV system. To avoid storing solar energy produce in the batteries, they successfully secured an agreement with the Electricite Du Cambodge (EdC) for grid connection allowing electricity surplus to be fed into the grid.

Kamworks, a project partner and local solar energy technology provider in Cambodia, purchased and designed the system. They also provided technical support and technical trainings to teachers and students on solar PV system installation and maintenance. EEP Mekong Programme contributed Euro 60,000 or 50% of the solar-PV system cost.

The system was installed during October-November 2014 by Kamwork team together with trained teachers and students of Don Bosco Technical School. There were 384 solar panels (300Wp) installed and 16 inverters at the roof of the Secretarial Building and Classroom building, adding a capacity of 115 kWp.

Diagram: Project implementation process

A series of technical trainings and workshops on renewable energy were provided to the teachers and students, developing skilled technicians capable to install solar panels, monitor, evaluate and maintain the systems.

The progress and results of the project were communicated to the local public via signboards, project website, events, and other school communication channels.



In 2015, the school consumed about 330 MWh of electricity. The energy produced from the solar panel system was 142 MWh (see graph below). The school used only around 190 MWh of electricity supplied from the grid. The normal electricity price in Sihanoukville is US$ 0.28 KWh. Don Bosco school now saves around US$40,000 annually from reduced electricity costs.


Graph 1: Monthly solar energy produced in 2015

Regarding the environmental impacts and climate change mitigation, the project reduces greenhouse gas emissions of about 1,500 tonnes of CO2 during its life span, equivalent to the carbon absorbed by 30,000 trees during a 10-year period.

Picture 1: On-the-job training, Don Bosco students install solar panels on the roof top

About 540 students and teachers (among 132 female) have been trained in design, installation and operation of solar-pv systems so far. They gained new skills that provide them the opportunity to access higher value professional activities in renewable energy business.

The saving from electricity bill from utilizing solar energy, enable the school to take more students from disadvantaged social background into education.



One of the main barriers for the development of solar energy in Cambodia is the lack of feed-in-tariffs. Because of this, local commercial banks do not provide loans for renewable energy projects.

Don Bosco school however shows, that with an investment of around US$130,000, the school can save around US$40,000 per year on electricity costs. Don Bosco is able to recover the cost of investment within 3-4 years.

The Don Bosco Solar-PV system generates electricity at a levelized cost of about 0.06US$/KWh, across its expected lifetime of 15 years. This makes the solar-PV system a commercially attractive option, particularly for medium and large-scale entities such as educational institutions, and SME located outside Phnom Penh where the electricity price is higher.

 Flickr Photostream


For more information, please contact

Brother Roberto Panetto
Don Bosco Hotel School
Email: Robertopanetto (at)


Bernhard Meyhoefer
Programme Manager
EEP Mekong Regional Coordination Unit
Email: Bernhard.meyhofer (at)





[1] or 850 riel/KWh, the electricity price in Sihanoukville in 2013 when project started.