British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward on Wednesday anticipated that Vietnam is poised to become a leader of the sustainable energy transition in Southeast Asia without needing to make a trade-off between economic growth and sustainable energy use.

Ward offered the remarks during a visit to Shire Oak International (SOI) in Ho Chi Minh City, a UK investor in and developer of solar energy that is currently rolling out 720 rooftop solar projects valued at US$1.9 billion across Vietnam.

The UK mission spoke with SOI’s chief operations officer Borries Plass on a number of topics, including the firm’s rooftop solar investment strategy in Vietnam and how the company can work with the British Embassy to further its reach and help Vietnam achieve its sustainable development goals.

“Since 1990, the UK has reduced emissions by 42 percent while expanding the economy by 72 percent. It’s a stellar example that there need not be a trade-off between economic growth and sustainable energy use,” Ambassador Ward said.

“I’m pleased to see that Vietnam has come to a similar conclusion and grown its renewable energy sector significantly since 2019.

“Vietnam is poised to be a leader of the sustainable energy transition in South East Asia.”

The UK is committed to supporting Vietnam in addressing climate change and reaching its green energy targets, the diplomat added.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward visits Shire Oak International in Ho Chi Minh City, June 24, 2020. Photo: Shire Oak International

Speaking to Tuoi Tre News, the British ambassador emphasized that Vietnam, like the UK, needs not trade its economic growth for sustainable energy application.

He said the UK is chairing the Conference of the Parties, the United Nations’ process to reduce carbon emissions and promote the fight against climate change, this year.

“In the last 2-3 years, we’ve really started to work much more closely with Vietnam on this agenda, because Vietnam has put conditions in place for the real development of solar power and the next phase would be wind power,” Ambassador Ward said.

In April this year, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung underlined this ambition, announcing a new feed-in tariff for suppliers of renewable energy in the country.

The new rooftop solar tariff now stands at VND1,943 (US$0.08) for each kWh generated, which is equivalent to a ten percent discount from previous tariff prices and would support the development of renewable energy throughout Vietnam.

Those producing solar energy can sell it to Vietnam’s state-run power company, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), or others who do not use the grid, allowing them the ability to negotiate prices and ideate new ways to use the energy, according to SOI.

The expansion in solar generation capacity in Vietnam could add as many as 25,000 new jobs every year until 2030, and another 20,000 jobs in the manufacturing of solar equipment for the global market, the World Bank said in a recent report.

The bank added that the deployment of new solar generation will also be a critical factor for the government of Vietnam to meet the Nationally Determined Contribution climate change target and reduce its need for new coal generation.

Soure: VN Explorer