Sustainable energy development: Price must be right

09:18 | 06/10/2017 Energy

(VEN) - Vietnam is seeking to develop energy on a sustainable basis, minimize greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment, and at the same time achieve economic growth.

price must be right

Demand pressure

At an event organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the German Embassy in Vietnam and the Siemens Group, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong noted that Vietnam’s energy demand has increased rapidly over the past 15 years, with commercial energy growth reaching about 9.5 percent annually. The demand is expected to increase further over the next 15 years.

Energy consumed nationwide in 2015 totaled about 55 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE).

Under its national energy development strategy to 2020, with a vision to 2050, Vietnam will have 100-110 million TOE of primary energy by 2020 and 310-320 million TOE of energy by 2050 to ensure economic development. Vietnam is transforming from an energy exporting country to an energy importing country to ensure energy security. The country is expected to import 17 million tonnes of coal by 2020, accounting for 31 percent of its coal demand for electricity generation.

Rapid economic growth, coupled with the increasing energy demand, is not only putting an energy capital pressure on the Vietnamese economy but on the environment, as well.

Cooperation with Germany

Tang The Hung from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy said the ministry has introduced specific solutions including further upgrading energy infrastructure, building a strategic stockpile of petroleum, promoting natural resources research and proper exploitation, renewable energy development, domestic and foreign investment promotion, restructuring the energy sector in compliance with the competitive market, applying advanced technology to protect the environment, and promoting technology renovation to use energy efficiently.

The German government has supported its Vietnamese counterpart in developing wind power projects through official development assistance. The two countries have strongly cooperated in renewable energy, energy saving and power transmission over the past years.

The countries are set to strengthen cooperation in sustainable energy, especially wind and solar power, smart power grid, energy storage and science-technology research.

According to Armin Bruck, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Siemens Singapore & CEO of all Siemens companies in ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), technological problems can now be solved with developed science and technology to ensure reliable energy supply and efficient use of energy resources, address climate needs, and minimize carbon dioxide emissions. Many advanced Siemens technologies are widely used in Vietnam, he said.

Experts say apart from technological solutions, easing the energy price problem is important to attract investment. It is necessary to consider carefully a price roadmap to avoid a negative impact on the economy and society. Wolfgang Manig, Charge d’ affaires of the German Embassy in Vietnam, said the energy price in Vietnam remains too low and unattractive to investors.

Wolfgang Manig, Charge d’ affaires of the German Embassy in Vietnam, said the world and Vietnam have the same target of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting the environment. The Vietnamese government should devise solutions to set a reasonable energy price in order to reach this target, he added.

Nguyen Vu