Denmark helps foster wind power in Vietnam

Denmark helps foster wind energy. Danish energy technology and financial support would help Viet Nam harness its largely untapped wind resources, said chief advisor of Danish Export Credit Agency Jorn Fredsgaard Sorensen.

According to the MoIT statistics, power generated from renewable energy sources only accounts for 2.3 percent of Vietnam’s annual electricity output, and wind power makes up a fairly small proportion.

Vietnam has developed 37 wind power projects, of which one is operational, one is under construction and the remaining projects are calling for investment.

"The energy deficit approaching in the near future makes it imperative for Viet Nam to develop alternative sources of energy, and wind is part of the solution. Wind technology is a very strong sector in Denmark, and we are experienced in using that expertise globally," Sorensen told Viet Nam News on the sidelines of a seminar to discuss wind power held in Ha Noi yesterday.

He said the development of the wind turbines sector in any country was dependent upon the feed-in tariff that the Government offers to wind farm developers.

"A main requirement of feed-in tariffs is they be transparent and stable, to provide wind farm investors with the confidence required to risk their money in such projects."

Sean Sutton, president of Vestas Wind Systems Asia-Pacific, the world’s biggest turbine maker, echoed this view and added that the tariff had been higher earlier in the process. "Typically, in every country—if you look at the Philippines for example, they introduce a feed-in tariff and their tariff is higher, and they also have clever mechanisms through which they can reduce the tariff as efficiency and understanding improve.

"It is important to start with a higher feed-in tariff to give developers, banks and all the stakeholders an incentive to get interested," he said.

Sutton said the very first wind turbines project, on Phu Quy Island in the central province of Binh Thuan, was a small but very significant step.

Still, he said, further dialogues would be required to expand the industry and capitalise on its potential: "Policy development is modest. It is of course not a slam dunk by any means. It’s going to be a challenge and people will have to work hard to try to make the projects viable."

Danish Ambassador to Viet Nam John Nielsen found a wind partnership between two countries most promising and said Denmark was a world leader in green energy. "I am certain that Danish solutions can make Viet Nam a wind energy nation."

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s General Directorate of Energy, the power development master plan prioritises developing renewable energy and aims to increase it from 3.5 per cent in 2010 to 4.5 per cent of total electricity production in 2020 and 6 per cent in 2030.