|Wind turbines at Bac Lieu Wind Power Plant. Viet Nam has been given an aid package of US$368m to develop sustainable energy over the next five years. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HA NOI (VNS) — The European Union (EU) has granted a non-refundable aid package, worth 346 million euro (about US$368 million), to help Viet Nam develop sustainable energy over the next five years.
This was announced at a workshop organised in Ha Noi yesterday by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and a European Union Delegation in Viet Nam.
The support targets three main objectives - boosting energy generation and consumption, increasing the amount of renewable energy produced, and giving people more access to reliable and sustainable energy services.
Viet Nam eventually faces a shortage of energy because traditional energy sources, including coal, are running out.
Speaking at the workshop, deputy minister Hoang Quoc Vuong, said, "Although Viet Nam is now an energy exporter, it will become a net energy importer in the near future with estimated import of 17 million tonnes of coal, equivalent to 31 per cent of its energy resources,by 2020."
Therefore, he said, significant investments and energy-market reforms were essential to meet demand, and to maintain energy access for all at an affordable price.
He said renewable energy would reduce carbon emissions and the sector's environmental impacts.
He added that sustainable energy was one of two key sectors under the framework of the EU's multi-annual programme for Viet Nam during 2014-20.
Franz Jessen, head of the European Union Delegation in Viet Nam, said that the European Union wanted a direct and results-oriented dialogue with the Government of Viet Nam.
"We intend to become a strategic partner and facilitate the smooth and effective implementation of an energy support programme," he said.
On the sidelines, Jos Jonckers, deputy head of Unit Geographical Co-ordination Asia and Pacific, said, "It's the first time in Viet Nam that we are working in the economic sector. In the past, we've been in education and health."
He said this was because Viet Nam had become a middle-income country. "So now we are moving as a partner in the economic sector.". — VNS