US Science Envoy for Space, Major General Charles Frank Bolden, Jr. has completed a four-day visit to Vietnam during which he promoted space co-operation between the two countries.
|(From left) Major general Charles Frank Bolden Jr. and Vietnamese cosmonaut, Lieutenant General Pham Tuan, present their portraits serving as astronauts to US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink at their meeting within the guest's visit to Vietnam. — Photo vov.vn|
The former US Space Shuttle Commander and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator conducted meetings with government officials, academics, students and civil society leaders.
“It is my great pleasure to be back here in Hanoi. I am here this week promoting space exploration and the commercialisation of space, as well as international co-operation in science and technology,” he said.
Bolden first met with the President of the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) Professor Chau Van Minh. After, he met with the leadership of Viet Nam’s National Space Center (VNSC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) to discuss strategies and experiences in managing and developing space programmes, building museums, educating students and community members, and finding opportunities for collaboration with the United States.
While at VNSC, Bolden gave a talk about career opportunities in space science and technology with students and the faculty from the University of Science and Technology of Ha Noi, Ha Noi University of Science and Technology, and Viet Nam National University.
On a separate visit to Hoa Lac Hi Tech Park outside Hanoi, General Bolden continued to promote career opportunities in space with a talk to high school students at VNSC’s new planetarium. While there, VNSC leaders gave General Bolden a tour of their observatory and the building next to the planetarium that will eventually house their space museum.
Power purchase agreement
Also yesterday, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) leader and the US Ambassador to Viet Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink participated in a public consultation to introduce MOIT’s proposal for Viet Nam’s Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) mechanism.
This new policy will allow businesses in Vietnam to procure electricity directly from private firms producing renewable energy and enable them to power their operations with 100 per cent renewable energy.
The DPPA mechanism is an enormous opportunity for solar and wind developers to mobilise private capital to build major new solar and wind energy farms. Over 30 large international and domestic businesses represented by the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Viet Nam are supporting this effort, and emphasised the critical need for accurate power market data to support low-risk transactions to power the clean energy revolution in Vietnam.
In addition to the DPPA, USAID is working to support Vietnam in improving energy security through a series of utility scale solar and wind projects, providing technical assistance to MOIT for energy planning, and working with the private sector to increase the finance available to support Vietnam’s vision for a clean and reliable energy system for the future.