Solar schemes generating energy and cutting emissions

1567-solar-schemes-generating-energy-and-cutting-emissions The first CME rooftop solar energy project at Tan Son Nhat International Airport

29 October 2021 - Source: Vietnam Investment Review - Thanks to Vietnam's efforts to diversify its power mix with a heavier focus on renewable energy projects, leaders say the country is now in a great position to build a sustainable future and attract foreign investment into clean and green energy. 

Vietnam has time and again reiterated its commitment to sustainable energy transition and its updated Nationally Determined Contribution that raised Vietnam's sustainability commitment in June 2020, at a time when many others were forced to put sustainability on the back burner by the pandemic. In the document, Vietnam pledged to reduce emissions by 9 per cent by 2030 from domestic resources and by 27 per cent with bilateral and multilateral support, while also increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix to 30 per cent by 2045.

The spirit has not waned ever since, with State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc once again stressing that Vietnam would make every effort to contribute to global climate action at the virtual Leaders' Climate Summit hosted by the United States back in April.

Meanwhile, at the fourth Russian Energy Week recently, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also emphasised Vietnam's awareness of the need for energy restructuring by raising the proportion of renewables while making energy use more economical, efficient, and sustainable. The country has accelerated the diversification of energy resources, with a focus on clean and renewable energy.

Right after the government flagged solar energy as an important power source for sustainable development, Copper Mountain Energy JSC (CME) is one of the pioneers investing in the sector. The company has successfully invested in and operates two solar farms with a total capacity of 141MWp at the Renewable Energy Centre in the Mekong Delta province of Long An. It has also been approved to deploy two wind farms in the Central Highlands with a total capacity of 150MW, and is now focusing on industrial rooftop solar to reach 300MWp capacity by next year.

The company also inaugurated its first rooftop solar project at the cargo terminal of Tan Son Nhat International Airport early this year. The project provides 1.5 million kWh of electricity annually, covering 40 per cent of Saigon Cargo Service Corporation's electricity demand while saving about 15 per cent on energy costs and reducing emissions by 1,500 tonnes of CO2 equivalents each year.

The project has drawn wide applause from passengers and experts passing through and working at the airport and has been commanded as an exemplary green growth model.

Previously, CME Solar also installed a solar energy system on the roof of Top Lead International Trading Co., Ltd. in the southern province of Binh Duong, empowering the company to reduce CO2 emissions by 1,025 tonnes a year and position itself as a green business.

CME Solar's rooftop solar portfolio now generates dozens of MW to offset non-renewable energy needs with many new projects currently under construction. CME Solar is deploying solar energy solutions in the industrial and residential sectors for both local and foreign enterprises and factories across the country. CME Solar projects generate hundreds of millions of kWh of electricity each year while reducing emissions by over 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents.

In fact, since 2019 Vietnam has surpassed Thailand to have the largest installed capacity of solar and wind power in ASEAN. According to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency, as of 2020, the country had over 7.4GW of rooftop solar capacity connected to the national power system. The results surpassed even the wildest expectations, marking a 25-fold increase in installed capacity compared to just a year earlier.

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