Energy transition could be VN’s next Doi Moi: experts

Friday, Jan 18, 2019 08:30

Wind power turbines in the southern province of Binh Thuan. Viet Nam needed to develop renewable energy to ensure energy security. — File Photo

Increasing energy efficiency together with developing renewable energy is critical for Viet Nam to ensure energy security, according to expert.

This was highlighted at a workshop on energy security in the context of climate change during the Viet Nam Economic Forum held by the Central Economic Commission on Thursday in Ha Noi.

Nguyen Van Binh, Chairman of the Central Economic Commission, said climate change was a huge challenge for every country, threatening to drag down socio-economic development. Viet Nam is among five countries most exposed to climate change, given its long coastline and large river basins.

Binh said climate change was increasing dependence on energy but was also seriously affecting energy supplies.

Stressing that the development of traditional energy sources was a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions, Binh said it was vital for Viet Nam to improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy for sustainable development.

“Greening the economy can boost economic growth,” Bruno Angelet, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Viet Nam said, stressing the role of private investment in the process.

He said Viet Nam had enormous potential for residential and industrial rooftop solar energy which could rapidly increase renewable energy supply into the grid. However, it was important to ensure the grid could absorb this additional supply.

Viet Nam also needed a transitional strategy towards more sustainable energy policies and a shift away from polluting to clean energy. Citizens and industry should be encouraged to produce solar energy on their rooftops.

Still, moving away from coal could only happen step by step and could not entirely be compensated by renewables.

He also stressed the need for an energy efficiency strategy, adding that Viet Nam lacked an appropriate legal framework whereas its lower energy prices simply undermine efforts to reduce energy intensity in consumption and production.

He said regulations and fiscal incentives should be applied to increase energy efficiency.

“Viet Nam needs energy transition. Viet Nam can succeed in this,” he emphasised. “Energy transition can be the second Doi Moi (Renewal) of Viet Nam.”

According to Le Cong Thanh, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, besides promoting energy savings and developing renewable energy, Viet Nam needed to seek ways to reduce reliance on energy consumption in economic development.

Thanh added Viet Nam would continue to study policies to promote the development of renewable energy.

Experts at the workshop also urged Viet Nam to adopt cleaner fuel technologies and increase the uptake of renewable energy technology to ensure access to affordable energy. — VNS

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