The factory of Dien Quang Lamp Joint Stock Company is located in a high-tech park in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City. From the time of construction in 2015-2016, even though there was no commitment on greenhouse gas emissions, the company orientation was for a "factory of the future" that ensures green, clean and efficiently used energy.
Today, Vietnam has officially committed to net carbon emissions by 2050, which is a serious challenge, requiring the effort of the entire society, not only the Government, said Mr. Le Cong Tuan Kiet, Deputy General Director of Dien Quang Lamp Joint Stock Company.
“When talking about Net Zero, it is about reducing carbon emissions to the community, reducing pollution, having higher energy efficiency, optimization. When designing this factory, we agreed to install a solar power system on the roof, rearrange the corridor, adjust the lighting design for the highest efficiency, and invest in production towards gradually improving efficiency,” said Mr. Kiet.
Although admitting that Dien Quang's direction is just an "accidental" start to meet criteria at COP 26, Dien Quang is still steadfast in the direction of production towards more and more efficiency, with higher performance.
The commitment at COP26 will have a significant impact on Vietnam's production and consumption. As an enterprise specializing in electrical equipment and smart solutions, Dien Quang urges its customers to use smart products and lights with higher luminescence efficiency. It advises customers to design and arrange reasonable light sources.
In the field of energy, Vietnam's commitments at COP26 also significantly change the structure of Vietnam's power sources. Immediately after the commitment was made, the draft power plan 8 was requested by the Government to be revised in the direction of increasing wind power and reducing coal thermal power.
Mr. Mark Hutchinson, Chairman of Southeast Asia Working Group of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said that to achieve Net Zero by 2050, renewable energy needs to be strongly developed.
To meet this demand, the Government of Vietnam is continuing to review and perfect the draft Power Master Plan 8 to increase the share of renewable energy, including wind power, significantly. Offshore wind power is one of the important renewable energy sources to help Vietnam achieve its Net Zero commitment by 2050. It is considered one of the few technologies that can effectively replace coal power.
GWEC’s Mark Hutchinson said in order to achieve Net Zero commitment by 2050, a combination of renewable energy development and fossil fuel elimination is required, increasing reserve flow to balance the grid and eliminating carbon out of the atmosphere, increasing flexibility in electricity demand, strengthening grid development, and building flexible electricity pricing mechanism and many more policies.
Be careful about the cost
|Vietnamese PM Pham Minh Chinh spoke at the COP26.
Attending many seminars related to Vietnam's commitments at COP26, Mr. Ha Dang Son, Director of the Center for Energy Research and Green Growth, said that experts are in agreement with the Prime Minister's statement on Net Zero - a very strategic statement. This not only shows Vietnam's responsibility, but also sends a message that Vietnam really wants to change and restructure the entire economy and the way energy and resources are used in the coming time.
“Net Zero is not only about energy, but also about how we will develop agriculture, how to treat waste, how to convert means of transport. Instead of using petrol-fueled cars, we will look more at electric cars. It is also a tool to help regulate electricity demand in the future. At some points, the electric vehicle battery charged at peak hours can be pushed back to the grid,” said Son.
However, along with solutions, Son mentioned the challenges: the cost of paying at peak hours to mobilize these types of distributed sources.
This was also mentioned by Dr. Truong Duy Nghia, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Thermal Science and Technology, when referring to Vietnam's commitment at COP 26 as a developing country with high demand for electricity usage.
In the long term, experts recommend that nuclear power should be put in the draft power plan 8 because it is a highly stable source of electricity and has almost no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollutants.
According to Nghia, at COP26 the Prime Minister said that poor countries are in dire need of electricity for economic development, so now if cheap energy is restricted and they have to use expensive energy, poor countries cannot afford it. The rich countries, with high emissions decades ago, should contribute to help poor countries reduce emissions. There must be some way to compensate for the expensive use of energy for poor countries. This was the first time a representative of Vietnam mentioned this issue.
“Decades ago, every environmental conference had very tense debates between rich and poor countries. Rich countries’ growth rate of electricity demand is not high anymore. They have shifted energy-intensive industries to poor countries. The growth rate of electricity use in some rich countries in 15 years is even lower than the one-year growth rate in developing countries,” Dr. Truong Duy Nghia said.
He said rich countries need to support developing countries like Vietnam to fulfill their commitments at COP26.
Dr. Ngo Duc Lam, former Deputy Director of the Institute of Energy, told VietNamNet that renewable energy will play a very important role in the implementation of Net Zero. However, it must be recognized that greenhouse gas emissions are not only from thermal power. Vietnam's industry also burns a lot of coal. Agriculture also emits greenhouse gases.
In addition to the industries with greenhouse gas emissions, there are also CO2 mitigation methods forestry,and afforestation.
Vietnam needs considerable international support in terms of concessional capital to take measures for concurrently ensuring national energy security and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
As commitments to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 increase across the globe, the question of how these commitments can be met and the corresponding economic transformation managed becomes ever more central.