Sustainability assessment of Cambodia’s electricity planning: Using Section 1 of the 2009 Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol
by Sokhem Pech, Sok Saing Im, Mak Solieng and Ham Kimkong (2010)
Executive Summary (extract)
The rapid sustainability assessment of Mekong electricity planning in Cambodia using Section I of the 2009 Draft Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (2009 HSAP) was conducted by a group of Cambodian assessors from March to May 2010. A multi-stakeholder consultation and trialing was conducted in Phnom Penh on April 8, 2010. Preliminary results and experiences in applying Section 1 of 2009 HSAP were also presented at a Regional Informal Dialogue organized by M-POWER and the Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on the eve of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum (HSAF) meeting on May 2, 2010.
The report consists of two parts, namely the Rapid Sustainability Assessment of Cambodia/Mekong Electricity planning, and our experience with the use of the 2009 Draft Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP).
Due to the growing energy demand – real or perceived, the Mekong region faces challenging questions about what electricity options should be developed during the next 10 to 30 years. These questions have to do with technological choices (e.g., small-scale, large-scale, demand-side, supply-side, or hybrid) as well as environmental and social impacts (Molle et al. 2009).
Strategic assessment of energy and water resources planning is considered as one of the most important sections in the draft Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) (HSAP, 2009) applicable for countries and regions that are planning for significant expansion of energy and hydropower development. It is observed that many disputes over large energy and water projects are mainly related to inadequacy of strategic justification for water and hydropower projects or systems of such projects.
Scope and Context
The assessment methodology and approach used in this assessment is based on the Section 1: Strategic Assessment of the 2009 Draft HSAP (HSAP, 2009). Table 1.2 in the main report presents key aspects, attributes and sub-attributes, and definitions of scores provided in the 2009 Draft HSAP. All relevant attributes for each aspect are scored from level 1 to 5 without specifying a level of acceptability. Level 1 is understood to be the absence of or very poor practice. Level 3 is understood to be basic good practice, with a particular consciousness of what is achievable in countries with minimal resources or capacities typical of developing countries. Level 5 is understood to be proven best practice.
The rapid assessment is implemented in a phased and integrated approach designed to provide a credible study, founded on carefully gathered information and rigorous analysis. This time-bound step-wise analytical framework includes information gathering, rigorous analysis, and a well-planned/facilitated process of key stakeholder consultations, reflection and documentation.