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Incomplete energy market hinders energy development in Vietnam

 An incomplete and asynchronous energy market is a bottleneck in energy development in Vietnam at present, according to many participants at a workshop in Hanoi on January 11.

The workshop on green energy for sustainable economic development was co-organised by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Japanese and Australian embassies in Vietnam. It was part of the second Vietnam Economic Forum.

In his speech, Chairman of the Commission for Economic Affairs Nguyen Van Binh underscored that so far most energy demand of Vietnam is met by fossil fuel sources like coal, oil, and gas. However, those sources are limited and their use pollutes the environment and raises greenhouse gas emissions.

Therefore, the research and use of alternative green energy sources like solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and biological energy are inevitable demand, he noted.

John Kerry, honorary president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said climate change is happening all around the world, and a solution to it is using energy in a smart way. Vietnam should invest in the use of electricity generated by solar, wind, gas and thermal energy. It also needs open policies and a roadmap for solar energy in its general approach.

He said he believes that coal is not cheaper, but instead more expensive than solar and other renewable energy sources if all of its impacts on climate and the environment are taken into consideration.

Vietnam is having a chance to make more effective changes, save billions of USD, give people better life quality, and create many jobs in this sector, Kerry said.

At the workshop, foreign experts shared experience in attracting foreign investment in the energy industry, financial and credit mechanisms to help the country develop energy infrastructure and access latest achievements of the global energy sector. They also identified challenges posed by climate change to the power sector in Vietnam and proposed solutions.