In September of 2011, the Prime Minister of Vietnam gave their approval for a national power development plan that would run from 2011 until 2020. Known as the Power Master Plan VII, it puts a heavy emphasis on energy efficiency, energy security, the development of renewable energy, as well as power market liberalization. It has six key directions to achieve goals surrounding the emphasis, and there are four main targets, including generating 6 percent renewable energy by 2030 and promote a rural electrification program to ensure rural households have electricity access by the year 2020. Listed below are just ten of the highlights of clean technology in Vietnam.
1 ) Vietnam Increasing Power Reliability and Efficiency with GE Fixed Series Compensation Solutions. GE is helping economic growth in Vietnam with a brand new custom designed fixed series capacitor banks. This brand new technology will aid in improving energy efficiency and reliability for Power Transmission Company No. 2 (PTC2), a key subsidiary of National power Transmission Corporation (NPT), and state utility Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). “PTC2 has been using similar substation equipment supplied by GE’s local engineering, procurement contractor for the past 15 years,” said Nguyen Manh Hung, president and CEO of NPT. “This collaboration is a testament of our continuous trust in GE’s advanced technology and engineering capabilities. The new capacitor banks will help us deliver more energy without costly upgrades all along our power supply chain. By improving quality and safety while reducing the amount of energy wasted on power lines, we’re helping Vietnamese companies increase their competitiveness in the world marketplace.”
2 ) Cities in Vietnam Start Embracing Energy Efficient Public Lighting. In July of 2011, a project funded by the United Nations Development Program started to bring energy efficient lighting to schools, hospitals, and streets throughout Vietnam. The Vietnam Energy Efficient Public Lighting project is a $15 million plan that is funded by the United Nations Development Program, the Global Environment Facility, local and central government, and the private sector to install as well as promote the utilization of energy efficient lighting around the country as lighting accounts for approximately 25 percent of all electricity consumed in the country.
3 ) Vietnam Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production Financing Program. The Vietnam Energy Efficiency and Cleaner Production Financing Program is a large part of the International Finance Corporation’s (a World Bank Group) Global Sustainable Finance Program. This program looks to promote much greater renewable energy, energy efficient, and cleaner production methods as well as awareness. The goal of the program is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well as improve the utilization of natural resources by boosting available financing for sustainable energy investments in the country. The project works with a number of selected banks to build sustainable energy portfolios. The program “targets enterprises that are looking to upgrade inefficient production systems and introduce new and clean technologies that will help them reduce their costs and raise their productivity and environmental performance through increased energy efficiencies.”
4 ) Vietnam Energy and Environment Partnership. The Vietnam Energy and Environment Partnership is a primary component under the brand new support program on climate change adaptation and mitigation. It is to be implemented between 2009 and 2012. The objective of the program is to improve energy efficiencies in Vietnamese enterprises to contribute further to a low carbon economy and sustainable development.
5 ) Binh Thuan Takes the Lead with Wind Energy Investments. The province of Binh Thuan in Vietnam currently has 16 wind energy projects with investments from 12 foreign and domestic businesses. The province now leads the country in the development of wind energy and is looking to generate a total capacity of over 2,000 megawatts. A 25 wind-turbine project created by the Vietnam Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company was just completed contributing almost 50 million kilowatt hours to the national electricity network.
6 ) World Bank Climate Projects in Vietnam. To help Vietnam become more energy independent and spend less money, the World Bank has been working on a number of climate projects throughout Vietnam. For instance, the Vietnam Renewable Energy Development project maintains the objective of increasing the supply of electricity to Vietnam’s national grid from renewable sources of energy on a environmentally, socially, and commercially sustainable bases. One of the components of this project is renewable energy investments. The other components are regulatory development, which will provide technical assistance for the development of regulatory infrastructure, and pipeline development, which will support activities that facilitate the development of new renewable energy projects.
7 ) Vietnam Approves the Building of a 40 Megawatt Biomass Plant. In October of 2010, local authorities granted an investment license for a $59 million (1.2 trillion dong) biomass project that is scheduled to be operational in 2013. Vietnam High Tech Renewable Biomass Energy Joint Stock Company will construct the plant in Phong Chau in the Phu Ninh district. Biomass is seen as a viable energy source in Vietnam as the country is a leading producer of rice and has numerous resources, including rice husks.
8 ) Vietnam Looking Good to Clean Energy Investors. Vietnam is currently becoming a very attractive destination for foreign investors in clean energy enterprises. For instance, US First Solar Group announced its plans to build in Ho Chi Minh City a solar panel factory which created around 600 new jobs in the country and had a total investment capital of around $1 billion. As well, IC Energy set up a solar panel factory in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone with an investment of over $390 million. German company Roth & Rau invested $275 billion for a factory in Hoa Lac High Tech Park.
9 ) The Swiss Help Vietnam Develop Sources of Renewable Energy. In May of 2011, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs in Switzerland provided non-refundable assistance to the tune of $2.43 million for the Vietnam Renewable Energy Development project. This program is to play a very important role in the development of clean energy and increasing the supply of electricity from renewable energy sources to the national grid in Vietnam.
10 ) Hanoi Hosts International Renewable Energy Exhibition. In March of 2012, Hanoi hosted the second international exhibition for renewable energy and decentralized energy solutions. This event provides an opportunity for local as well as international businesses to strengthen cooperation, increase understanding of advanced technological renewable energy solutions, and attract investment. The expo focused on wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, and bioenergy solutions. Foreign experts and scientists discussed major issues, including current situations and trends, the renewable energy market, and various renewable energy technologies.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.