The Vietnam-Sweden Rural Energy programme (VSRE) has helped raise Vietnam’s capacity in planning, developing and managing renewable energy sources.

The statement was made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Energy Department Deputy Director Pham Hung in a seminar held in Hanoi on December 14 to sum up what the programme achieved over the period 2003-2009.

In addition, the programme helped improve socio-economic and cultural life of ethnic minority people in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang and central coastal province of Quang Nam, Hung said.

VSRE was funded by the Swedish government via the Sweden International Development Agency (SIDA) with an amount of over 50 million SEK (over 7 million USD).

Ludovic Lacrosse, VSRE chief advisor, confirmed that the programme built up a framework of technical standards which are essential for designing and managing renewable energy projects in Vietnam.

Based on VSRE studies, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided Vietnam with a soft loan of more than 151 million USD to help the country carry out renewable energy projects for rural areas.

According to the Ministry, Sweden has granted up to 600 million SEK and provided preferential loans worth 500 million SEK for Vietnam ’s electricity industry since the two countries set up diplomatic ties 40 years ago./.