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Solar power offers effective solutions

SATurday - 04/01/2014 12:28 - Viewed: 1915
The Spanish government officially provided EUR1 million in sponsorship to help Vietnam promote the development of solar energy.
 
Thanks to tropical climate, Vietnam has many advantages to develop solar energy. In particular, the northwestern and north central regions have about 1,800-2,100 sunshine hours per year. From Thua Thien Hue to the south, sunshine hours reach about 2,000-2,600 hours per year.
 
The solar power system can be divided into four kinds. Firstly, the system is capable of providing power without the battery storage system. Secondly, the system is capable of providing power with the battery storage system. Thirdly, the system can connect to the national power grid. Lastly, the system can operate independently.
 
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A grid-connected solar panel system in the Spratly Islands
 
According to calculations, if a household use 300kWh of electricity per month, they can invest in the solar power system with a total investment capital of about VND200 million. The system can provide power in an effective manner.
 
Together with advantages in terms of no greenhouse gas emissions, solar power is strongly developed in the world. This is not only the best option for rural areas without electricity but also to reduce the pressure on the national power grid. However, in Vietnam, the application of the solar power system in practice is still limited.
 
In addition to small-scale projects, buildings in the Institute of Environment and Resources (IER) under the Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City (Binh Duong Province) are installing the solar power system with a capacity of 50,16kWp. The system will be completed by the end of this year. According to calculations, the system will produce over 70MWh of electricity, contributing to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 50 tonnes per year. 
 
In addition, research institutes have also opened up the prospect of producing clean energy in the near future in Ho Chi Minh City and the country.
On September 17, 2013, the project on promoting the development of solar energy in Vietnam implemented by the General Department of Energy was launched. The project consists of three main parts, including mapping potential sites on solar energy in Vietnam, adopting pilot projects designed by the Spanish, and organizing workshops and conferences to learn from Spanish experiences on solar energy development. The project is expected to end in January 2015.
With a capacity of about 250MWp and total budget of US$1 billion, the project on solar power connecting to SIPV power grid will provide electricity to about 10,000 households in rural areas and over 10,000 public lights. The project will be completed in 2025.
SIPV power grid is programmed to automatically switch to using electricity in the grid in off-peak hours. Specifically, the system will interrupt power to switch to using solar power when having sunshine. If solar power is not exhausted, the excess electricity is stored on the energy system of the building. All functions of the system are controlled automatically.
 
According to calculations, solar power from SIPV power grid will reduce investment costs by 30 percent and save 30-50 percent of national electricity consumption, contributing to resolving power shortage in peak hours and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Experts said that solar power in Vietnam has not yet developed due to high investment capital, unclear legal framework and the lack of incentive policies. Therefore, the government should soon complete the planning on solar energy development.
 
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is actively seeking financial resources and training human resources to develop solar power.
 
By Minh Chau