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We need energy everywhere. However, the demand varies from one location to another. Cooling and electric appliances are essential in Vietnam, and in other countries, it could be heating or something else. Different needs for different fields.
But at some point in time, covering the demand will become a challenge regardless of which market you belong to. To cover that, besides a transition to renewable energy sources, we need a major increase in energy efficiency.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Hao Tran talked to Markus Bissel and Klemens Leutgöb about where Vietnam stands on the world energy map compared to other countries along with some practical methods the citizens use. They also discussed a few tips for Vietnam to achieve energy efficiency while transitioning to renewable sources.
Markus is part of a team of around 60 people and works as the head of component energy efficiency at Energy Support Programme from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Vietnam. On the other hand, Klemens is an energy economist and the managing director at e7 Energy Innovation & Engineering based in Austria. Klemens and his team at e7 serve as the consultant in developing and enhancing the energy efficiency market in the country, supporting Markus’ team at GIZ Vietnam.
When asked where Vietnam sits on the world energy map, Markus said energy transition is an indicator they use to see Vietnam’s current status. Acknowledging that the country still needs a lot of things to improve, Markus pointed out two impressive facts that happened within the last three years:
- The increasement in the share of renewable energy because there were Feed-In Tariffs (FIT). FIT encourages people to use renewable energy to power their homes. It means if you install an eligible renewable energy system, you could be paid for your electricity. According to Markus, there was a rapid increase of up to 20 GW within the last two years, and “it’s quite impressive.”
- The share of renewables in general also went up. This is because, in Vietnam, the consumers and businesses do not only use the more popular solar; there are also hydropower sources. Considering the share of the power capacity is around 28% for hydropower plus solar power, which when compared to other countries, reveals Vietnam is doing a great job.
While in the discussion of Vietnam’s position globally in terms of energy-saving, Klemens shared a few insights:
- “We need a continuous improvement of energy efficiency through all sectors,” Klemens said. “We also need market models that work in this aspect that offer services to different customer segments because energy efficiency is a difficult topic.”
- Energy efficiency is undeniably relevant, but it’s challenging to convince people of its importance because “you can’t see energy efficiency.”
- To Klemens, the part that’s yet to be filled in the energy efficiency play is the “crisis” one. “It’s about understanding that it’s an important contribution to energy transition in the long run,” he said. In time, we’ll have to face a shortage in energy sources, and turning to efficient ways and eventually taking advantage of renewable sources should happen the soonest.
Both also shared internationally-proven ways of saving energy that can work in Vietnam and should be utilized:
- State involvement - If pushed by the government, it can make a difference, and Markus has proven that in his experience. Like in Europe, energy utilities are obligated to offer their customers services that help save energy based on a specific quota that they will have to fulfill.
- Tax incentives - This saves the consumers and companies a significant amount of money for energy use and is a great way to raise awareness.
With the support of e7, GIZ is working closely with the Vietnamese authorities on the development and implementation of strategies and framework conditions to improve energy efficiency, as well as building energy efficiency capacity for the private sector and anticipating the demand the future brings.
Watch the full discussion here.