Vietnam, Sweden promote renewable energy cooperation

06:00 | 19/05/2021 Cooperation

(VEN) - The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which entered into force last August is opening plenty of opportunities for Vietnam and Sweden to promote economic cooperation and investment in a number of fields, including renewable energy, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Mawe told Vietnam Economic News’ Hoa Quynh.

vietnam sweden promote renewable energy cooperation
Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Ann Mawe

The Swedish Embassy in Vietnam recently launched a solar power system using a special inverter that can store energy for a long time. Could you explain the meaning of this event?

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Sweden has ranked first among countries and territories worldwide in energy transition index during three consecutive years (2018-2020), and is a pioneer in shifting to a safe and sustainable energy system. With more than 50 percent of energy used in the country coming from renewable sources, Sweden is pursuing the ambition of becoming the first country saying ‘No’ to fossil energy such as coal and kerosene and using 100 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2040. Through the launch of our solar power system in Vietnam, we would like to share a small story about Sweden’s energy development goal in order to encourage people to think of the future, as well as of ways and measures to maintain sustainable energy development and reduce adverse impacts on the environment and climate. We would like to emphasize that global access to renewable, clean and modern energy will lay the foundation for us to deal with challenges facing the world, including poverty, food security, climate change, clean water, health, and inclusive economic growth. Shifting to use of renewable energy will allow us to reduce the use of fossil fuels and strengthen energy security.

Could you share with us the progress of energy cooperation between Vietnam and Sweden so far?

Sweden has for a long time cooperated with Vietnam in the field of energy. In the past, cooperation focused mostly on hydroelectricity. Nowadays, cooperation in this field has expanded, including joint efforts to promote safe and sustainable energy development. In recent times, apart from promoting cooperation at the government level, we organized workshops in collaboration with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade to create cooperation opportunities for major energy firms and groups of Sweden. The two sides concentrated on discussing ways to promote technical cooperation, upgrade the power grid, develop the renewable energy market, and mobilize Swedish financial institutions’ credit support for energy projects.

vietnam sweden promote renewable energy cooperation
The solar power system introduced by the Swedish Embassy in Hanoi

Vietnam has great potential to develop renewable energy, not only wind power. As a tropical country, the room for solar power development in Vietnam is abundant. However, Vietnam needs to invest in upgrading transmission systems and connect these safe, sustainable energy resources to the national power grid, while at the same time storing redundant energy from the peak production season. The government should launch programs to enhance people’s awareness of energy efficiency and encourage the use of green, sustainable energy resources. We will continue working with the European Union and northern European countries in green energy development projects and provide the Vietnamese Government with consultancy on energy transition to reduce Vietnam’s dependence on energy generated from oil and coal, and increase the percentage of renewable energy.

How do you see EVFTA’s effect on economic, trade and energy cooperation between the two countries?

I believe the EVFTA will bring opportunities for the two countries to increase economic cooperation, trade and investment. Vietnam-Sweden bilateral relations have been established and developed for more than 50 years. Many large Swedish companies and groups are operating effectively in Vietnam, winning the trust of Vietnamese people. This will encourage other Swedish firms to invest in Vietnam.

We expect small and medium Swedish companies will come to Vietnam to invest and become partners of Vietnamese businesses once the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled. We also expect Vietnam will export more goods to Sweden. Bilateral trade has grown in recent years but remains at a modest level. We believe the EVFTA will help accelerate this growth. Cooperation in the field of energy will surely benefit from the trade deal to achieve new progress based on the existing firm foundation.

Hoa Quynh