Khmer Times/Pech Sotheary Monday, 29 August 2016 2759 views

Angkor Wat Families Get Solar Power

In an effort to make the area look better and promote environmental practices amongst the communities living within the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, the Apsara Authority, which is tasked with maintaining the temple area, is pushing the use of solar panels.

Unsightly electric wires, generators and smoke from wood fires are all spoiling the beauty of the temple complex and negatively affecting the local environment, which has led authorities to push for solar power, Apsara spokeswoman Chao Sun Kerya said yesterday.

“In the Angkor area, we cannot put up more wires and there are already far too many, because we want to keep the World Heritage site’s beauty,” she told Khmer Times.

She also noted that solar power was often more cost effective for rural communities, especially those not connected to the electricity grid.

She said that a 2013 solar adoption project under the New Zealand-funded Angkor Community Heritage and Economic Advancement Project (Acha) had only had limited success and that was why Apsara had decided to add its weight to the idea, with early successes.

According to the Acha website, Leang Dai village in Angkor Thom district became the first to receive a solar-powered battery recharging facility.

In rural Cambodia, those who are not connected to the electricity grid, or require extra power, often have car batteries recharged at community hubs.

These hubs are usually diesel powered, which is both expensive and polluting. In addition, personal solar units, which can provide enough power to run small electrical appliances, are also being recommended.

In a post on the Apsara Facebook page, Ros Sarom, director of land and housing management for Apsara, urged communities to adopt solar power.

“The solar power battery charging is cheaper than charging by generators, and the quality of life is also improved and not as easily damaged,” he wrote.

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