Conference explores renewable energy
DA NANG (VNS)— A Green Economy conference here yesterday promoted the need to develop renewable energy sources in Viet Nam, with participants from business and academia sharing experience and technological applications.
|Workers install wind and solar radiation measuring equipment in Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
"We hoped to get more information from research institutions, businesses and investors on finding new energy sources for future sustainable development," said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen. "The conference is a chance for us to devise suitable policies and set priorities for boosting new energy development."
Viet Nam planned to increase its use of renewable energy from 5 per cent in 2020 to 11 per cent by 2050, Tuyen said.
Conference host city Da Nang was the first city nationwide to carry out a renewable energy pilot project back in 2007-11.
"We cut 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through our pilot project and saved VND12 billion (US$570,000)," said Huynh Anh Hoang, a representative from Da Nang's Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The central city has approved a second phase of the project to run to 2015, he said.
"The central city has high potential for new energy sources, with a 90km coastline and over 2,000 hours of sun per year," Hoang said, noting an average wind speed of 3m per second was available for wind power stations.
The city also funded a solar energy project for 200 households in Hoa Quy District and shifted taxis and buses towards using natural gas instead of petrol. A new rubbish treatment plant at Khanh Son Dump would also turn plastic bags into industrial oil, while fertiliser, bricks and gas would be recycled from the rest of the rubbish each day.
Hoang complained, however, that investors in renewable energy still face roadblocks in terms of investment incentives and technology.
But, he noted, "The investment rate in the development of renewable energy is still higher than the fossil energy. Wind and solar power cost from 15 to 20 US cents per 1KW compared to 5 cents for hydropower or diesel-fired power plants. That means that investors still hesitate to pour money into green technology [and] renewable energy projects remain limited to small investments or suitable for household use."
The city has yet to develop projects to use energy from ocean waves and tides and could extract 4.2 million cubic metres of biogas from rural areas.
Du Van Toan from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment's Institute of Sea and Islands agreed that Da Nang has favourable natural conditions for green energy.
"The city can build power plants using wave and tidal power along the long coastline," he said. "These plants also can play a role as tourist destinations."
Da Nang could be a green city by 2020, he said, but it would "require a drastic change in planning and policy."
The city will hold a Clean Up the World Day today on the theme of Our Place, Our Planet, Our Responsibility. — VNS