Vietnam’s renewable energy resources waiting to be tapped – experts

Nguyen Duc Cuong, head of the country’s Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanisms Center,

Vietnam has a huge basin of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower – all capable of supplying a large part of the country’s energy requirements.

Nguyen Duc Cuong, head of the country’s Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanisms Center, is calling for more exploration into the economic, social and environmental advantages of exploiting and using renewable in the country, according to the Viet Nam News.

In a report during a recent forum, it was stipulated that the energy use comparative to gross domestic product growth in Vietnam is twice bigger than that of developed nations. This suggests immense developments that have to be carried out.

Oil use in Vietnam rose from 4.2 million tons in 1990 to 19.5 million tons in 2004, with an annual growth of 11.7 percent. It is expected that the country will become an energy importer over the next three years, the report stressed.

Having renewable sources that are sufficient and readily available, the country is well-positioned to meet its surging energy needs through alternative power, analysts say.

Most of the Vietnam’s regions are located in tropical zones, receiving over 2,500 hours of sunshine per year. That is equivalent to eliminating 44 million tons of oil when translated to energy.

“This figure is increasing in the direction toward the southern region and this is a good base for the development of solar energy technologies,” said Vietnam’s Institute of Energy.

Meanwhile, wind power that can be produced is put at 713,000 megawatts, of which 510,000 MW comes from onshore and 200,000 MW from offshore, according to projections from Dutch export platform Cleantech Holland.

As an agricultural country, Vietnam has a high potential of, biomass, which could reach 2,500 megawatts of total capacity.

With over 300 natural geothermal sources found, Vietnam also has potential to generate more than 300 MW of geothermal power output, with the central region as the most ideal spot for exploration.

Moreover, around 320 MW of power can be generated from waste every year and 100 MW to 200 MW from hydropower.

Compared with other countries, these figures are relatively small and not reflecting available potential, noted Vietnam’s Institute of Energy.

“Consideration and exploitation of renewable energies in the future have important meaning in terms of economy, [society], energy security and environment protection,” it added.

According to Vietnam’s Institute of Energy, the use of renewable energy in the nation, so far, is mainly raw biomass for household cooking. – Catherine Dominguez – EcoSeed



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