The low selling prices that the government set for wind power cannot encourage the investment in the renewable power sector.

Vietnam sets development of renewable energy top priority

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

The country’s aggregate energy demand is predicted to equate to 167 million tons of oil by 2030, well beyond its production capacity of 50-62 million tons of coal and 20-22 million tons of oil, local Vietnam News daily quoted sources from the institute as saying Monday.

Annual 13-15 percent increases in energy demand require exploring as many supplementary energy alternatives as possible, said the report.

Vietnam has begun exploring the potential of its promising bio- gas, wind power, solar power and geothermal electricity resources.

According to Pham Van Thanh, director of the Centre for Community Research and Development (CCRD), the government has received support for renewable energy development from international organizations such as the French Development Agency (AFD), the International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Canadian International Cooperation Agency (CIDA), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the Republic of Korea’s KeximBank.

SNV Netherlands Development Organization is supporting the Vietnamese livestock industry’s bio-gas program.

The World Bank (WB) provided 201.2 million U.S. dollars in credit to the country’s renewable energy development program over the 2009-2014 period.

The German Deutsche Bank and the U.S. Eximbank have offered preferential loans to wind power energy projects in the south- central coastal province of BinhThuan and Bac Lieu province in the southern Mekong Delta.

Incomplete statistics reveal at least nine non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have undertaken projects supporting renewable energy development in Vietnam. Five others are running communication and education campaigns promoting renewable energy resources like bio-gas, solar power production and gasoline-saving technology.

The CCRD financed the construction of 10,000 underground biogas generators throughout the country.

The Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) is implementing community-based bio-gas energy models with funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Singapore office of Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives (CHARIS).

GreenID is collaborating with southern Can Tho University and the GIC Company on drafting solar power energy models tailored to suitable localities in Can Tho, northern Thai Binh, Hoa Binh and Hung Yen provinces and central Ha Tinh province.

Phan Thanh Tung, a representative from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), said GIZ is helping Vietnam’s wind power plant projects.

It has already lent its expertise to outline legislative frameworks for wind power development, collect wind speed data and provide technical consultancy, said Tung, adding that some Vietnamese households have installed solar energy panels.

The project’s second phase has run from March 2012 to March 2015 with a focus on shoring up renewable energy laws and regulations and fine-tuning organizational structures, reported GIZ.