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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   22 May 2014  

France commits to energy co-operation with Viet Nam

France and Viet Nam will co-operate in renewable energy development to serve the local demand, officials of the two nations stated at a seminar in Ha Noi yesterday.

The event was attended by the Embassy of France and the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

Viet Nam had great potential in renewable energy but investment in the field had not been much so far, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang.

The major reasons for such a situation included unattractive economic side of renewable energy and limitation in policies and implementation and technology for renewable energy projects, he noted.

He added that energy consumption of Viet Nam in the past 10 years increased by an average of 15 per cent each year, so the country would import coal for producing electricity from next year because the domestic coal supply was reducing.

Meanwhile, the oil price in the world market had surged, reported the Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) newspaper.

The development of renewable energy is very important to ensure energy security and sustainable development of national energy, Quang said.

Jean-Noel Poirier, French Ambassador in Viet Nam, said that the renewable energy sector would be a priority in the energy and industrial policies of France for Viet Nam.

French enterprises would update the latest information on renewable energy development in the world and application of new technology. They would transfer technology to Viet Nam, and France would have financial support for development of renewable energy, he added.

According to a report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's General Department of Energy, every year, Viet Nam has 2,000–2,500 hours of sunshine with an average capacity of 150 kcal per square cm, equivalent to 43.9 million tonnes of oil per year.

Wind energy is also attractive with an electricity generation capacity of 800–1,400 kWh per sq m per year in land, 500–1,000 kWh per sq m per year in coastal, central highland and southern regions, and 500 kWh per sq m per year in other regions.

Biomass is also equivalent to 43–46 million tonnes of oil, including 60 per cent from wood residues and 4 per cent from farming waste.

However, the prices of energy sources such as sun, wind and battery are higher than traditional energy, so it has limited investment compared to the renewable energy sources.

The price is VND300–1,000 (US$0.01-0.05) per kWh of electricity that is produced from hydro power, VND1,200–1,800 ($0.06-0.09) per kWh of electricity that is produced from wind and VND3,000–6,000 ($0.14-0.29) per kWh of electricity that is produced from solar energy.

By the end of 2013, renewable energy accounted for only 6.3 per cent of total national power production capacity of 3,990 MW.

Viet Nam had not enough policies, technologies and support services to promote the development of renewable energy, Quang noted. The country also had no state office specialising in the study and planning of renewable energy development.

The ministry would review the price of electricity generated from renewable energy to encourage domestic and foreign investors and also attract customers, added Pham Trong Thuc, the head of the Renewable Energy Department.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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