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Developing a robust renewable energy sector is top priority for Vietnam

18 February 2014
Developing a robust renewable energy sector is top priority for Vietnam

LONDON: Vietnam considers the development of renewable energy a top priority in its national climate change strategy as its energy demands increase, say experts from the country’s National Energy Institute.

Vietnam's aggregate energy demand is predicted to equate to 167 million tons of oil-equivalent by 2030, well beyond its production capacity of 50-62 million tons of coal and 20-22 million tons of oil, according to a report on The Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

The radio station quoted National Energy Institute of Vietnam Representative Nguyen Anh Tuan as saying that annual 13-15% increases in energy demand requires the exploration of as many supplementary energy alternatives as possible.

Vietnam has already begun exploring the potential of its promising biogas, wind power, solar power and geothermal electricity resources with support from the international community.

Centre for Community Research and Development director Pham Van Thanh said the Vietnamese Government has received technical and financial support for renewable energy development from agencies based France, Japan, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany, South Korea, Sweden and United States together with the World Bank.

While some programs, such as the development of community biogas plants, have made good headway, others face institutional obstacles. Sugar mills, for example, are reluctant to pursue bagasse energy production because of the discrepancy between the expense of installation and the low electricity prices the state electric utility, Electricity of Vietnam, insists upon. Wind power plants suffer from similar outlay-benefit imbalances.

Setting a fair baseline electricity purchasing price is therefore imperative if Vietnamese renewable energy production is to be encouraged. The lack of national renewable energy law is a deficiency the Government hopes to address as soon as possible, according to the VOV report.

The German Agency for International Cooperation, which has been assisting with development of a Vietnamese wind sector, is focusing on shoring up renewable energy laws and regulations and fine-tuning organizational structures.

Article originally posted on CleanBizAsia

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Image by Konstantin Krismer

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