Vietnam to develop wind energy

Maximising renewable energy resources such as solar energy, wind energy and the application of biogas and biomass would be part of Vietnam’s actions towards a low carbon economy by 2020, said an official from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Key measures would also include tightening control on means of transport, designing and constructing new urban areas with integrated green space and energy-efficient buildings, and issuing policies with orientation for greenhouse gas reduction in the energy sector, said Deputy Director General of the ministry’s Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen The Chinh, at a participatory dialogue session yesterday.

A number of projects have already started to promote the use of renewable power such as a wind farm in Ninh Thuan province, a rice husk power plan in Tien Giang province, a biogas plant in Ninh Binh province and a biomass plant in Soc Trang province.

"Encouraging the use of renewable energy and energy saving, gradually omitting outdated, energy-inefficient technologies in industry, saving energy and increasing energy efficiency in enterprises, buildings and transportation are all part of the measures," he said.

Vietnam has a total potential wind power of one million MW and it is expected to develop 12,000 MW of wind farm by 2020, equivalent to 3 per cent of the country’s total output, according to Country Manager of GE Energy Viet Nam Nguyen Xuan Thang.

Vietnam ’s first wind energy turbine production factory was inaugurated at the Nomura industrial zone in the northern port city of Hai Phong on October 15.

The 61 million USD project, invested by the US-based GE group, rolled out over 200 turbines for export in the past five months of test run.

In the first stage the factory will produce 1.5 MW wind turbines for export and is scheduled to mass produce some 10,000 parts and assorted wind turbines annually. Its products will be forwarded to GE production facilities worldwide to be assembled into end products.

The total potential biomass power was 16,000MW with diversified sources of rice husk, sugarcane, cassava, wood, animal waste and other agricultural waste, he said, adding that the country planned to develop 8,000 MW by 2020, accounting for two per cent of the country’s total output.

A number of projects have already started to promote the use of renewable power such as a wind farm in southern Ninh Thuan Province, a rice husk power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, a biogas plant in northern Ninh Binh Province and a biomass plant in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, which are expected to be put into operation by 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Nguyen Trung Thang from the Ministry’s Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment said the application of green growth was important towards a low carbon economy.

He stressed key strategies in the application of green growth, including economic growth which focuses on environmentally-friendly production, consumption behaviour adjustment and trade activities, environmental degradation reduction with policies and strategies to prevent pollution as well as strategies to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Vietnam has applied green growth by promoting environmentally-friendly technologies, attracting investment on low carbon technologies, issuing supporting policies and mechanisms and raising public awareness.

"The country’s policy on payment for forestry environmental services, for example, has been welcomed by many countries as an effective initiative in encouraging local people to plant and protect forests," he said.

Director of Holcim Viet Nam, a subsidiary of Holcim – one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, Paul Hayes, said cement production was thought to account for six per cent of the total CO2 emissions from stationary sources worldwide.

He said clinker production was the most energy intensive stage of the cement production process and produced the most CO2. He suggested the use of mineral components to make blended cements to reduce the quantity of clinker in each tonne of cement used and thereby reducing the amount of CO2.

"It is also essential to use waste heat recovery systems to capture the waste heat from cement kilns to generate electricity and phase out outdated cement kilns in operation to limit environmental pollution," he added.