Nation on track with energy efficiency plans

Published: 29/03/2011 05:00


Nam Dinh Water Supply Company’s decision to invest VND700 million (US$42,000) in new pumping technologies in 2005 has paid off.

Nam Dinh Water Supply Company’s decision to invest VND700 million (US$42,000) in new pumping technologies in 2005 has paid off.

The State-owned company, which provides water to 86,000 households and 950 enterprises in Nam Dinh City and surrounding districts, 90km south of Ha Noi, was able to save about 0.03kWh of electricity per cubic metre of water processed.

According to company deputy director Ly Van Ke, it only costs 0.29kWh of electricity to process 1cu.m of water now whereas it had been 0.32kWh before the new pumps were installed.

“With the electricity price going up, the investment has saved us a lot of money,” he said.

The company supplies on average 1million cubic metres of water per month. That means about VND45 million ($2,200) is saved on its monthly electricity bill.

The company is among various organisations and individuals across the country that followed the Government’s appeal for efficient energy consumption over the last six years.

The latest report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) indicates that Viet Nam saved 3.4 per cent in energy consumption in the 2006-10 period, the equivalent of 4.9 million tonnes of oil (TOE).

“The figure is far from being impressive but of great significance, given that the demand for power has been on a sharp rise,” said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong at a meeting last Friday.

Despite a low record of consumed energy per capita in comparison to other countries in the world, Viet Nam’s average annual growth rate of energy demand has been 12 per cent since 1990.

The amount of energy saved so far has met the target set by the 10-year Viet Nam Energy Efficiency Programme, which started in 2006. The Government programme is aimed at reducing national energy consumption by 3-5 per cent in the 2006-10 period and by 5-8 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

Turning energy conservation into a law was one of the major achievements of the programme, according to MoIT.

The Law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation came into effect at the beginning of this year, making it a must for intensive energy consumers to use power efficiently.

Some $8.1 million has been spent on the first phase of the energy efficiency programme (2006-10) by the Government to enhance public awareness on energy saving, encourage the use of energy efficient products, and help industrial enterprises to reduce energy losses.

Head of MoIT Energy Efficiency and Conservation Office Phuong Hoang Kim said the programme involved most of Viet Nam’s major corporations, such as Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) and PetroVietnam.

For instance, EVN is promoting compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs that use more energy. A total of 31 million compact bulbs were sold in Viet Nam in 2009 whereas the number was only 500,000 back in 2003.

The energy saving drive has also been seen at small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Tran Ngo Khanh Thanh has replaced single-phase motors in his 30-worker bamboo factory in HCM City’s outlying district of Cu Chi with three-phase motors, which consume less electricity.

“Although my factory’s electricity bill is still far below those of heavy industries, at the end of the day, it’s still for our own sake,” said the owner of Tre Lang Company.

But deputy minister Vuong said Viet Nam could save far more energy.

“Civil construction and transport could save up to 30 per cent, industrial SOEs by 20 per cent while there is also the potential to save energy in services,” he said.

According to MoIT, energy efficiency in Viet Nam’s industries, which consume half of the electricity the country produces, remained very low.

In comparison to the region, Viet Nam’s energy intensity, which refers to the cost of converting energy into the country’s GDP, is usually 1.5-1.7 times higher than that of Thailand and Malaysia.

A n anonymous MoIT official said worn-out technologies, inadequate awareness, the high proportion of intensive energy-consuming industries as a whole and the lack of strong policies were to blame.

“The existence of the new energy efficiency law is a good sign but how to implement it will be another story,” he said.

Nation saves 400,000kWh during Earth Hour

Viet Nam saved 400,000 kWh of power during “Earth Hour 2011″, equivalent to VND500 million (US$23,255), according to Electricity of Viet Nam.

The saving reflected the result of a mass switch off nationwide between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday.

The National Electricity Dispatching Centre said that Earth Hour had reduced electricity consumption by 400MW because it had taken place at a peak time.

Ha Noi was among over 30 cities and provinces nationwide that responded to Earth Hour with a message of “Turn off lights for 60 minutes, take actions for 365 days for climate change”, with the aim of raising people’s awareness on saving energy and reducing the effects of climate change.

In the city alone, around 162MW of electricity was saved.

Source: VNS

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