Wind power (Photo: VNA)
The Government, relevant departments and sectors should design more policies to support energy access for the poor, a seminar in Hanoi heard on October 30.

Nguy Thi Khanh, Executive Director of the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) under the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, said the Government has put forth a number of policies to support the needy.

However, this has yet to satisfy low-income families’ increasing energy demand, she said, proposing that the Government, relevant departments and sectors create more supportive policies in terms of prices, lighting equipment, and building oil and gas stabilisation funds.

Participants recommended installing small hydropower and biogas plants, and subsidising electricity for low-income residents.

Nguyen Tien Long, an energy expert, said public demand for power, coal, gas and petrol was surging.

However, energy access for the poor was limited due to their low incomes, he said. The maximum total annual income of poor families in rural, mountainous areas is 24 million VND (1,080 USD), and average energy expenditures amount to more than 3 million VND (135 USD) per year. This means they’d spend 12.9 percent of their income on energy.-VNA