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Support for solar power development in south

Released at: 08:30, 03/07/2016

Support for solar power development in south

Photo: FCO

Four provinces involved in solar power initiative.

by Hong Nhung

Enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai are receiving support in an initiative to help develop rooftop solar photovoltaic systems being implemented by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Dragon Capital Group (DCG), and the Energy Conservation Center (ECC).

The project aims to produce clean and reliable energy for use at enterprises. The initial phase, the “Supporting the Southern Vietnam Solar Photovoltaic Development (Solar Hub)” initiative, with financial support from the UK Government’s Prosperity Fund, will last until March 2017. Technical support is offered for pre-feasibility studies, solar radiance resource measurement, and financial viability evaluation on selected rooftop solar power systems.

The Solar Hub will gather and consolidate data from existing sites to build a database of solar information accessible to the government, suppliers, consultants and enterprises wishing to generate solar energy. An assessment of the legal and licensing implications of implementing the Vietnamese Government’s draft Solar Decision is among the project’s activities.

The findings and case studies will be published on a solar-dedicated website for public access and shared with the city and provincial governments to support their policy development in promoting solar energy.

“I am very pleased that Vietnam is among the first countries to benefit from the new £1.3 billion Prosperity Fund announced in 2015,” said Mr. Andrew Holt, Head of Prosperity at the British Embassy in Hanoi. “I am confident that the Solar Hub project will demonstrate real impact on the uptake of solar power in Vietnam and will help make the case for investment in renewable energy sources more generally.”

According to Mr. Gavin Smith, Director of Dragon Capital Clean Development, “the solar industry in Vietnam is in its infancy and the supply of accurate and reliable information to a new market is critically important, therefore the Solar Hub will make a positive contribution to encouraging private sector investment in solar energy.”

The UK has developed a vibrant solar industry and its universities, equipment suppliers, consultants and financial investors have great experience to share with Vietnam. The Solar Hub will focus on the fast growing commercial and industrial areas that enjoy the best solar resources and rapidly growing energy demand. The DCG will support this project and provide assistance in making Ho Chi Minh City the “solar capital” of Vietnam.

After the successful implementation of the Pilot Program for Supporting Mechanisms of Solar Photovoltaic Investment in 2015 in Ho Chi Minh City, the city now has more than 1MWp of installed solar power. In 2016 the market continues its impressive growth with more than 2.5MWp of installed capacity from corporate investments. “We hope and believe that this FCO-funded project will be implemented effectively in southern Vietnam and especially in Ho Chi Minh City,” said Mr. Huynh Kim Tuoc, Director of the Energy Conservation Center.

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