ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Alternative energy in developing countries
If the financing of alternative energy in developed countries is an issue, then the problem becomes even more severe in the developing world.
Vietnam is a case in point.
The country is producing all the hydroelectric power that it can so that is not an option and environmentalists point out that it submerges forests and causes soil erosion. The country also has limited coal and oil resources. That leaves the sun and wind.
Along with other Asian countries, Vietnam receives plenty of sunlight. Vietnam has a new solar power plant that was set up last month. The US$708,000 plant supplies 172 households with electricity.
One positive note is that a US company, First Solar, plans to produce low-cost solar cells out of polymer rather than silicon. The cost of that energy will still be higher than hydroelectric power.
Recent UN reports indicate that most developing countries have enough alternative energy resources but as is the case with Vietnam, bringing those resources online into the grid at a reasonable cost will be the issue.
The key toward moving these countries into renewable energy is likely to be in the field of innovative finance rather than alternative energy technology.
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