The Da Nang Science and Technology Department has successfully completed a one-year pilot project to test solar powered energy on two deep-sea fishing vessels.

The system will now be used to provide trawlers throughout the nation with a stable and inexpensive energy source for communication receivers and other devices.

The solar power system saves 30 litres of fuel on each trip, worth at least 2 million VND (95 USD).

Pham Van Son, from the department’s energy saving office, said solar power enabled fishermen to send and receive radio communications around the clock.

The renewable energy system installation costs 50 million VND (2,380 USD) for each ship, but it can be used for 20 years. It takes fishermen two years to reimburse the initial investment, Son said.

However, he said many fishermen still hesitated to pay out such money.

Fisherman Le Van Minh said the sum is as much as his catch each trip and if getting financial support, he will install solar power.

Meanwhile Le Van Xin, owner of a deep-sea fishing trawler in Da Nang , said he had been using the solar power system for nearly two years.

He saved a third of fuel consumption on lighting. The new 100-LED bulb system that replaced the 100 litres of fuel 40 bulb lighting system for net fishing each night had saved him 1.6 million VND (78 USD).

The installation of a solar power system on a boat takes only two days, Son said, adding that his department had been seeking funds to cover the initial investment for fishermen.

Central Da Nang City, which has 15, of fishing grounds, has a fleet of 2,300 fishing boats, of which 699 are deep-sea trawlers.-VNA