UK finances solar power projects in south

The Saigon Times | Wed, Jul 6, 2016 08:57:06 AM Share this on

A major program funded by the UK will be executed to support firms in HCMC and neighboring Binh Duong, Long An and Dong Nai provinces to install solar panels on the roofs of their buildings, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

The program was announced by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Dragon Capital Group and the HCMC Energy Conservation Center.

With financial support from the UK’s Prosperity Fund, the first phase of the program for solar power development in southern Vietnam (Solar Hub) will be implemented until end-March next year to create clean and stable energy for enterprises to use.

The Solar Hub will provide firms with technical assistance to conduct the pre-feasibility studies for their solar power projects, measure solar radiation, and gauge the economic efficiency of the solar power systems. It also covers legal assessments and administrative procedures for supporting mechanisms for solar power projects.

Data will be collected to help develop a database of solar power to provide information for State agencies, equipment suppliers, consultants, and enterprises interested in solar power production. The final results will be published on a website designed for solar energy as a source of widely shared reference material.

Andrew Holt, representative of the Prosperity Fund from the British Embassy in Hanoi, said the 1.3-billion-British-pound fund was launched last November and that Vietnam was one of the first countries to benefit from it.

He expected the Solar Hub will promote solar energy development in Vietnam.

Gavin Smith, director of the Clean Development Fund of Dragon Capital Group, said Vietnam’s solar energy industry is still in its infancy and the provision of accurate and reliable information in such a new market is important.

Smith said the Solar Hub will encourage private firms to invest in the solar energy industry. It will focus on the rapidly growing trade and industrial sectors which have increasing power demand and can make full use of solar power.

Dragon Capital Group will contribute to helping HCMC become a solar hub of the country, he said.

Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of the HCMC Energy Conservation Center, said after the success of a pilot program to support solar power in HCMC last year, the city has installed over 1 MWp of solar electricity and that firms are expected to invest in projects with a combined 2.5 MWp this year.

Source: The Saigon Times