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HCM City looks to encourage solar energy use, pays consumers for power

Update: August, 06/2018 - 07:00
Solar panels being installed on a house in Tân Bình District, HCM City. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Three years after beginning a pilot programme to buy solar power at VNĐ2,000 (8.7 US cents) per kWh generated in homes and offices, HCM City has signed up 290 consumers.

The city’s power tariffs for domestic consumption range from VNĐ1,549 to VNĐ2,701 per kWh, depending on the quantum of use.

Tuổi trẻ newspaper quoted some people as saying that the high cost of solar panels and equipment is what prevents more from signing up.

Phu Hoàng Yến of Tân Bình District said, for instance, she first knew about the solar programme in 2016 through the media, but at that time installing the panels cost VNĐ200 million (US$8,700).

Last June, when the cost had gone down to around VNĐ100 million, she bought the system, but even that price is unaffordable to many people, she said.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nga of Phú Nhuận District thought about it many times before finally deciding to spend VNĐ105 million on a solar power system.

The people’s committees of districts 2 and 4 and other departments have also got solar panels installed.

Lâm Hùng Tấn, deputy chairman of the District 4 People’s Committee, said with the help of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) his office installed a 345sq.m panel at a cost of VNĐ1 billion.

“The cost is still relatively high. A household has to spend VNĐ79.5 million for the cheapest package. At that cost, encouraging its adoption is not easy.”


Nguyễn Hoàng Gia of DoST’s energy solutions and new energy unit said his department is offering several incentives for solar power like free consultancy, technical assistance and installation, with consumers only having to pay for the solar panels and other equipment.

It also gets them a 15 per cent discount from a local company selling solar panels.

SolarBK Corporation, another major renewables company, said it is working with banks to enable customers to get loans for buying solar panels.

It also offers a 10 per cent discount to buyers referred by Electricity of Việt Nam (EVN) in HCM City.

Solar energy helps save electricity costs by a third

Phu Hoàng Yến of HCM City’s Tân Bình District said with the use of solar power her electricity bill has gone down to VNĐ1 million a month from VNĐ 3 million.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nga of Phú Nhuận District said she only pays VNĐ1.4 million a month for electricity now, saving around VNĐ700,000 after installing solar panels.

The District 4 People’s Committee has cut its electricity bills from VNĐ 91 million to VNĐ 84 million a month.

Lâm Hùng Tấn, its deputy chairman, said the bills would go down further soon since the system could not achieve full capacity due to rainy weather recently.

He said there are plans to install solar panels in some hospitals and schools in the district.— VNS




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