An energy saving project involving neon lights, an "intelligent" street light savings management system and making "half-organic" coal from waste won prizes in the final round of the "Green Ideas 2010" contest organised on March 19 in HCM City.

A group of students in Hanoi won the top prize money of 30 million VND (1,400 USD) for a project that will develop a machine to save 30 percent of energy used for neon lighting systems in schools, offices and workshops.

The "Intelligent saving management system" project submitted by Nguyen Thanh Phuong from HCM City won the 20 million VND second prize. It aims to control street lighting systems after 10pm by using light, movement and sound censors to turn them on and off.

The third prize of 15 million VND was taken by a group of students from Hanoi who came up with a project to make "half-organic coal" from waste produced by a guild village. The students plan to mix coal and waste from cattle to create a new kind of fuel.

This year's "Green Ideas" contest focused on how to sustainably use energy by looking for new, practical and effective solutions to use recycled and renewable energy. It aimed to increase community awareness of the need to save energy and come up with coping strategies for climate change.

Apart from the prize money, the winners will get financial support of up to 250 million VND (12,000 USD) per project from Toyota Motors Vietnam to implement it and bring into daily life./.