Vietnam’s residential and business customers have started to embrace solar and other forms of renewable energy and its demand is forecast to rise fourfold by 2030, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.

This information was released at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on July 17, discussing measures for renewable energy development in southern provinces and cities.

Ly Ngoc Thang, Deputy Director of the Centre for Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanisms under the Energy Institute, said Vietnam will consume seven times more energy next year than in 2010, and is likely to become a coal importer for energy generation after 2015.

He emphasised the need to develop renewable energy sources to gradually replace the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. It was also essential to promote energy efficiency to ensure national energy security and protect the environment, he added.

Other participants suggested that apart from wind energy, Vietnam should focus on other sources of renewable energy, such as solar, biogas and biomass.

Currently, Ho Chi Minh City has around 10 million residents who produce between 8,000 – 9,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) a day, thus offering an opportunity to generate thermal plant and produce several valuable materials, they said.

Nguyen Trung Viet, a climate change expert in HCM City, said MSW can make huge economic benefit if the city pays attention to waste treatment and recycling technology. Each year, HCM City can earn 1,553 – 2,782 billion VND from waste recycling, enough to pay for rubbish dumping sites that cost around 2,208 billion VND.

He called for State incentives to create more favourable conditions for investors in this field.-VNA