Sustainable power supply needs different energy sources: conference

Vietnam needs to tap different sources of energy to ensure sustainable electricity supply with reasonable prices, heard a conference in the central city of Danang on November 4.

Delegates at the event, themed “Orientations for Vietnam’s sustainable power sector,” also suggested the country take a more active part in the regional electricity market.

Hailing Vietnam’s adequate power supply, Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank’s Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Region, said the problem lies in how to meet the future power demand with the Government’s commitments to cutting greenhouse emissions in the context of climate change.

Vietnam has a high rate of renewable energies with hydroelectricity making up 42% of the country’s total capacity, higher than that in many nations worldwide, he said, suggesting the country further tap its wind and solar potential in service of the industry.

Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director of the World Bank Group’s Energy and Extractive Industries Global Practice, proposed Vietnam promote effective competitiveness and investment inflows from the State and private sectors to ensure financial sustainability.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai affirmed that Vietnam always sticks importance to power development in an attempt to meet demands for socio-economic development, national defence and security, daily activities and national energy security.

According to him, over the past two decades, a total of 10 million Vietnamese households have gained access to electricity, mainly through rural electrification as part of the poverty reduction programme.

The official urged the power sector to continue its renovation efforts by outlining a rapid and sustainable development strategy and integrating deeply into the world economy.

He stressed the need for managing power prices under the market mechanism to encourage the involvement of different economic sectors, including the foreign-invested one, in the industry and the economical use of electricity.

To further spur the sector’s growth, the Deputy PM proposed closely combining the power market with coal and petroleum industries, increasing energy-saving solutions and accelerating rural electrification to bring power to almost all rural households by 2020.

A report presented at the conference showed that the national power system has a total capacity of over 37,000 MW. The sector is expected to produce and import 164 billion kWh this year.

The gap of power consumption between Vietnam and other regional countries was narrowed over the past decade, the report said.

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