Inspecting solar panels (Source: VNA)
 
Can Tho (VNA) – A seminar discussing the potential of solar power development in tandem with sustainable agriculture production took place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on August 24. 

Co-hosted by the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), and Can Tho University (CTU), the event aimed to work out solutions in promoting the development of renewable energy in Vietnam. 

Antoine Vander Elst from the European Union (EU) delegation to Vietnam said renewable energy is now more reliable and cheaper than fossil fuel power, contributing to strengthening energy security and creating more jobs. 

According to him, there are 2.2 million people working in the field of renewable energy in the EU, spanning 90,000 businesses across 28 countries. He said with a tropical climate, Vietnam has advantages in developing solar and wind power which will improve the competitiveness of agriculture. 

Dr. Nguyen Quoc Khanh from GreenID said the use of solar power in food production on a land site will help double revenue, citing that it is similar to the glasshouse model with roofs used for collecting solar power and the land for cultivation and farming, thus saving energy. When the energy collected reaches the point of excess, it could be sold to the national grid to generate a stable income, he said.

Assoc. Prof Dr. Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the CTU’s Research Institute for Climate Change, mentioned several sustainable agriculture models using renewable energy which are underway in the Mekong Delta, including the collection and use of solar power for irrigation and automatic pesticide spraying. 

In the southernmost province of Ca Mau, farmers are able to treat waste in shrimp ponds through a biogas process, which protects the local water environment and creates gas for daily use. 

In the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, the rice-lotus-fish-tourism model uses lighting from solar power to cut costs. 

Tuan suggested issuing policies and mechanisms conducive to researchers and pioneering models in order to fully tap into the benefits of renewable energy.–VNA