|Wind turbines at the Tuy Phong Wind Power Plant in Binh Thuan Province. The plant started to generate electricity in 2009. Reducing the use of scarce natural resources through measurement of energy efficiency is critical to meeting the energy demands of a growing economy like Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Dat
HCM CITY (VNS) — Reducing the use of scarce natural resources through measurement of energy efficiency is critically needed to meet the energy demand of a growing economy like Viet Nam, Vu Van Khiem, director general of the Ministry of Science and Technology's National Office of the Southern Region, has said.
Speaking at a three-day training conference on sustainable energy technology last week in HCM City, Khiem said that Viet Nam was facing an energy shortage within the next few decades.
Economic growth and rapid industrial expansion based on low energy costs have consumed significant amounts of energy and other resources, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and exhausting natural resources.
In the future, Viet Nam will shift from an exporter to an importer of energy and the level of dependence on imported energy would increase, he added.
State agencies in Viet Nam such as the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Trade and other agencies have worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on labeling energy and building energy efficiency standards for appliances and replacing the use of fossil fuels.
As a result, there have been positive results in management and energy savings, he said.
In recent decades, with the present rate of consumption of traditional energy resources, energy reserves are expected to be depleted rapidly, Khiem said.
According to forecasts, by 2035 the level of global energy consumption will increase by 53 per cent. Enterprises around the world are constantly conducting research to seek new and renewable energy sources, he said.
The traditional burning of fossil fuels has caused adverse environmental impact such as the greenhouse effect, rising radioactivity and global warming, he added.
Also speaking at the conference, Cho Chang-hee, principal researcher of the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, said that in Korea, island microgrids were being used to meet demand.
Microgrids that have helped meet increased demand for green energy globally are especially suitable for remote villages, he said. They have helped improve electricity penetration ratio and reduced petroleum use.
"Fewer CO2 emissions are the result," he said. "It also decreases transmission losses."
A microgrid is a system of multiple power sources of different sizes and technologies connected to the central grid. The system can disconnect and function autonomously as physical and economic conditions dictate.
More than 1,400 microgrid projects have been deployed in more than 100 countries, Cho said.
The conference was organised by the National Research Council of Science & Technology, ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, and Korea Institute of Industrial Technology. — VNS