HA NOI (VNS)— "Viet Nam has huge potentials for green and renewable energy, including solar, wind, biomass and hydropower to replace traditional ones," said Nguyen Duc Cuong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)'s Energy Institute's Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanisms Centre.
|The wind-power Tuy Phong District Project in northern Binh Thuan Province, with 20 turbines, went online in April. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
He was speaking at workshop held in Ha Noi last week to explore the economic, social and environmental implications of exploiting and using green energy in Viet Nam.
According to an MoIT report submitted at the conference, the energy use relative to GDP growth in Viet Nam is double that of developed countries, indicating vast efficiency improvements are needed.
"Oil consumption in Viet Nam increased from 4.2 million tonnes in 1990 to 19.5 million tonnes in 2004, for an annual growth of 11.7 per cent. It is expected that Viet Nam will become an energy importer by 2015," the report said.
However, it noted that the country gets 2,000–2,500 hours of sunshine every year, equivalent to 44 million tonnes of oil.
In addition, wind power can generate between 800 -1,400 kwh/sq.m/year onshore, 500-1,000 kwh/sq.m/year along the 3,000km coast and under 500 kwh/sq.m/year in the Central Highlands and southern provinces.
About 320MW of energy can be generated from waste each year, 100-200MW from hydropower, 2,500MW from biomass and 340MW from geothermal engineering.
The MoIT report said that the Hong River Delta, which has limited solar and wind energy potential, can be exploited for its geothermal potential.
At a depth of 4km, temperatures would reach 160 degrees Centigrade, allowing the production of 1.16 per cent of the total electricity that Viet Nam generated in 2006, the conference heard.
If geothermal energy was used for air-conditioning in Ha Noi, it would have saved VND800 billion (US$39.5 million) and reduced 252,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the report said.
"Renewable energy must get support from the Government to be successful," Cuong was quoted as saying in the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times).
Apart from strong incentive policies issued by the Government, it should be ensured that the Viet Nam Electricity Corporation would buy all electricity generated from renewable sources, he said.
He also stressed that the location for wind power was very important and planners should pay attention to changing airflow, migrating birds and impacts on base transceiver stations set up by telecom firms and television stations.
Le Anh Vu, deputy head of the Northern Sustainable Development Institute, warned of the environmental and ecological impacts of hydropower projects.
He suggested the Government ensure uniform policies and legal frameworks for all small hydropower projects nation-wide.
"Viet Nam doesn't have any strategy to develop bio-energy. The Government should include development of bio-energy among priority projects in the national programme to fight climate change," said Dr. Nguyen Van Huan from the Viet Nam Economy Institute. — VNS