|An official from the Science and Technology Department instructs a fisherman about how to use solar power on a deep-sea fishing vessel off the coast of Da Nang. The city has finished tests for solar-powered energy on two deep-sea fishing vessels.— VNS Photo Pham Son
DA NANG (VNS)— The central city's Science and Technology department has successfully completed a one-year pilot project to test solar-powered energy on two deep-sea fishing vessels.
The system will now be used to provide trawlers throughout the nation with a stable and inexpensive energy source for communication receivers and other devices.
The solar power system saves 30 litres of fuel on each trip, worth at least VND2 million (US$95).
Pham Van Son, from the department's energy saving office, said solar power enabled fishermen to send and receive radio communications around the clock.
"The renewable energy system installation costs VND50 million (US$2,380) for each ship, but it can be used for 20 years. It takes fishermen two years to reimburse the initial investment," Son said.
However, he said many fishermen still hesitated to pay out such money. "It's still a big money for us. The amount is as much as our catch each trip. If we get financial support, we will install solar power," said fisherman Le Van Minh.
Le Van Xin, owner of a deep-sea fishing trawler in Da Nang, said he had been using the solar power system for nearly two years.
"We save a third of our fuel consumption on lighting. We used to spend 100 litres of fuel for a 40-bulb lighting system for net fishing each night. But we replaced this with a 100-LED bulb system," Xin said, adding that this had saved him VND1.6 million ($78).
Son said it took only two days to complete the installation of a solar power system on a boat.
He said the department had been seeking funds to cover the initial investment for fishermen.
The central city, which has 15,000sq.km of fishing grounds, has a fleet of 2,300 fishing boats, of which 699 are deep-sea trawlers. — VNS