US helping Vietnam develop clean energy

14:07 | 08/12/2017 Energy

(VEN) - The United States is helping Vietnam analyze the makeup and needs of its energy sources, as well as the role of electricity producers and distributors in providing those needs, in order to help the country shift to renewable energy, such as wind and solar power.

us helping vietnam develop clean energy
The signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement between the US Trade and Development Agency and the Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 2

Project agreements

Recently, the Sao Mai Group and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a cooperation agreement to carry out a 210MW solar power project with a total investment of US$193.35 million in An Giang Province’s Tinh Bien District. Under the agreement, USAID will provide funds for this project through the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program (V-LEEP). This is the largest solar power project in Vietnam so far.

The project will be implemented in four stages: In 2018 it will produce 46MW; in 2019: 58MW; 2020: 44MW; and 2021: 62MW. It has been approved by the prime minister as part of the National Power Development Plan based on Decision 869/TTg-CN dated June 19, 2017.

In October 2017, the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed an agreement with the Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 2 (EVNPECC2) to fund the preparation of a feasibility study of a wind power project with design capacity of 100MW that will be built in Tan Thuan Commune, Dam Doi District, Ca Mau Province. In the first stage, the plant will have a capacity of 24MW. So far, EVNPECC2 has built and put into operation a wind meter station in Tan Thuan Commune.

According to David Ross, USTDA’s Director for Southeast Asia, over the past two decades, the agency has provided technical, legal and financial assistance for more than 20 energy infrastructure projects in Vietnam, connecting Vietnamese investors and project developers with leading US technology solution providers, as well as helping them attract funds for the projects. The feasibility study for the Tan Thuan wind power project is being conducted with support from Dnv Kema Renewables, Inc., a leading US consulting firm in this field.

US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka believes the Tan Thuan wind power project will contribute to boosting Vietnam’s economic growth and prosperity.

Developing clean energy

In the opinion of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who visited Vietnam in June, the Vietnamese economy is growing rapidly, and the country needs to build new power plants to create clean energy. While coal is a polluting fuel, the cost of renewable energy production has decreased by 9-12 percent annually and the downward trend continues. It takes from four to six years to build a coal-fired power plant, while it takes just one year to build a solar power plant. Therefore, Kerry expects Vietnam to shift to new energy resources, such as renewable energy.

During his visit, Kerry affirmed his country’s willingness to assist Vietnam in coping with climate change, especially in clean energy and infrastructure development, management of water and ecology resources.

Ngoc Thao