A Green Economy conference on September 16 promoted the need to develop renewable energy sources in Vietnam, with participants from business and academia sharing experience and technological applications.

"We hoped to get more information from research institutions, businesses and investors on finding new energy sources for future sustainable development," said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen.

"The conference is a chance for us to devise suitable policies and set priorities for boosting new energy development."

Viet Nam plans to increase its use of renewable energy from 5 percent in 2020 to 11 percent by 2050.

Conference host city Da Nang was the first city nationwide to carry out a renewable energy pilot project back in 2007-11.

"We cut 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through our pilot project and saved 12 billion VND (570,000 USD)," said Huynh Anh Hoang, a representative from Da Nang 's Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The central city has approved a second phase of the project to run to 2015, Hoang said.

The city also funded a solar energy project for 200 households in Hoa Quy District and shifted taxis and buses towards using natural gas instead of petrol.

A new rubbish treatment plant at Khanh Son Dump would also turn plastic bags into industrial oil, while fertiliser, bricks and gas would be recycled from the rest of the rubbish each day.

The city has yet to develop projects to use energy from ocean waves and tides and could extract 4.2 million cubic metres of biogas from rural areas.

Da Nang could be a green city by 2020 but it would "require a drastic change in planning and policy", an official said.-VNA