Vietnam has huge potential renewable energy sources, widely distributed across the country, with nearly 3,400km of coast line to provide potential wind energy resources, estimated at 500 -1000 kWh/m2 per year.
Besides, solar energy varies with the average amount of sun radiation estimated at 5kWh/m2/day across the country on the average. Hydropower potential for mini hydropower (<30MW) is also over 4000MW. This is also the reason why US businesses are willing to invest further in the energy sector in Vietnam.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral relations between Vietnam and the United States, the Clean Energy Conference on the theme "Smart Solutions for Vietnam" was held in Ho Chi Minh City, with the participation of over 150 representatives of government, investors and experts from the two countries, Vietnam and the United States.
The conference focused on discussing the challenges for clean energy development in Vietnam and opened opportunities for investors in this sector. These are very topical issues in the context of the energy demandsof Vietnam, which is growing rapidly to meet the demand of rapid and sustainable socio- economic development of the country. The delegates had the open dialogue to share and discuss the issues and challenges, benefits and solutions for sustainable energy development in Vietnam.
Vietnam's economy has begun to grow fast since the 80s renovation. However, the awareness of environmental issues as a consequence of socio-economic development also emerged. In September 2012, the Prime Minister approved the National Strategy for Green Growth, to set the goal for reducing GHG emissions by 8-10% compared to 2010, while reducing energy consumption by 1-1.5% of GDP per year over the period 2011- 2020.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Nguyen The Phuong - Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment said: "As a responsible member of the international community, Vietnam strives to contribute to the stable development of general global and pioneered in the direction of sustainable development. The search for smart solutions to promote the development of clean energy is also a key focus in the National Strategy for Green Growth that Vietnam has been in implementation. The lessons learned, experiences, suggestions and recommendations at the conference will be useful as reference information for the government agencies in general and for the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in particular in the process for development and completeness of policies and mechanism to promote the development of renewable energy and clean energy resources."
Mr. Patrick Wall - Commercial Attaché, Consulate General of the United States emphasized: "In recent years, the United States and Vietnam have built up extensive collaboration and continuous development with the aim of bringing energy and renewable clean energy to the market to meet the growing demand for sustainable energy in Vietnam. This USA - Vietnam Conference on clean energy entitled "Smart Solutions for Vietnam" is a latest testament to the growing collaboration between the two countries in the field of clean energy development".
Representatives from US government agencies, financial institutions and investors include: UNDP, USAID, USTDA, IFC, OPIC, Dragon Capital, General Electric, Black & Veatch and Vietnamese partners such as PECC3/EVN, ERAV, Cong Ly Co., and HBRE joined the discussions. The participants came up with the idea to help Vietnam improve policies to encourage the development of renewable energy, to enhance the sustainable development of economy, society and environment.
In its role as a sponsor of the conference, General Electric Company also shared the most advanced technologies and solutions in the field of wind energy, energy dispersal, including biomass and energy from wastes. GE Company has built up a reputation in the field of renewable energy in Vietnam, especially wind energy, while also supporting very much in term of technical assistance for renewable energy projects and power generation in Vietnam. The company has supplied more than 62 wind turbines for the first two phases of the wind power project in Bac Lieu province in the Mekong Delta and most recently been selected to become the supplier 14 turbines in the first phase wind farm project in the Central Highlands, Dak Lak province. In 2013, GE and the Electricity Regulatory Administration of Vietnam (ERAV) signed an agreement on "Research on renewable energy integration", with the purpose to develop wind energy to become a reliable source of energy in the National grid.
"As one of the first US company in Vietnam, General Electric has accompanied the process of economic development of the country during the past 20 years, focusing mainly on four key sectors: energy, aerospace, medical equipment, and petroleum. GE strives to play a positive role in supporting when the demand for solutions to renewable energy increases in Vietnam. We can bring all the international experience, capacity of research and development as well as our human resources, through the development of stronger partnerships with clients in the country, to bring benefits in a sustainable way to Vietnam"- Ms. Nguyen My Lan - CEO of GE Vietnam and Cambodia also said in her statement.
The conference also received positive feedback from the Vietnamese government agencies, the US government agencies, the investors in project development in the country and other potential investors. The US energy sector can support with advanced technologies, technical skills and financial strategy to develop clean energy including solar energy, wind energy, biomass, geothermal, clean coal, natural gas and smart grids in Vietnam. The objective of the workshop is to further promote cooperation on renewable energy between Vietnam and the United States.