10:12 | 14/03/2019 Energy
(VEN) - Vietnam needs to devise efficient solutions and take the initiative in coping with climate change, given the country’s growing energy needs.
Climate change threatens energy security
This was the central theme of a workshop on energy security in the context of climate change held in Hanoi last month.
According to Nguyen Van Binh, Head of the Central Economic Commission that hosted the event, Vietnam is one of the five countries most affected by climate change due to its long coastline and large river basins. The negative impact of climate change has become increasingly obvious in many areas, increasing the depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation. This will likely slow down socioeconomic development and undermine many of the country’s achievements, he said.
He pointed in particular to the increasing level of energy dependence resulting from climate change, warning that lack of stable energy supplies will greatly affect national energy security. Meanwhile, the development of traditional energy sources increases greenhouse gas effects - something that directly causes climate change.
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry who attended the workshop as a visiting distinguished statesman at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said many countries worldwide have gradually shifted from traditional energy sources to new and renewable energy to address the issue of sustainable energy development and minimize the negative impact of climate change.
Vietnam depends largely on hydropower and coal for its energy, but these traditional sources are being depleted. In late 2018, Vietnam had to import coal, while the country’s oil and gas fields are almost exhausted.
According to Bui Quoc Hung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority, in 2018, Vietnam produced more than 200 billion kWh of electricity, while demand is expected to reach 570 billion kWh by 2030. Almost all primary energy sources are nearly exhausted. Meanwhile, if Vietnam wants to achieve an economic growth target of seven percent, energy growth must reach 10 percent or higher, he said.
John Kerry noted that Vietnam has major wind energy, solar energy and natural gas development potential. A matter of concern is how to balance and combine energy sources, including development of large capacity batteries for example, to compensate for the system when renewable energy is insufficient.
Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam said Vietnam must combine energy efficiency, energy structure and renewable energy with public investment policies and wise fiscal policies. It also needs to shift from brown energy promotion to green energy promotion, he said. While no one expects Vietnam to just copy the European model, it needs a strategy appropriate for its needs, Bruno Angelet added.
USAID Vietnam Mission Director Michael Greene said Vietnam needs to devise an energy security strategy in the
context of climate change, and at the same time adopt more effective policies to promote the role of renewable