“Low carbon transition in energy efficiency sector in Vietnam” programme (2013-2015)

Denmark strengthens its support for Vietnam’s Green Growth through a new programme handling energy efficiency in Small and Medium Enterprises and in large buildings.

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There is huge potential in improving energy efficiency in brick kilns, Bac Ninh province. (Photo: Nguyen Xuan Quang)

As a result of a long-term dialogue on low carbon transition within the energy sector in Vietnam, specifically targeting energy efficiency initiatives between the Governments of Vietnam and Denmark, a new project entitled “Low carbon transition in energy efficiency sector in Viet Nam” has been signed by Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Buildings (MCEB) and Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) in November 2012, funded by the Global Framework under the Climate Envelope 2012.

The project takes place from January 2013 to December 2015 including an inception phase of 6 months, covering a total budget of DKK 65 million. In alignment with the present cooperation within energy efficiency under the Danida climate change adaptation and mitigation programme (2008-2015), this project provides targeted budget support to the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Programme (VNEEP, 2006-2015).
The project consists of two components: The first supports the Ministry of Industry and Trade in promoting energy efficiency in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) with a focus on the brick, ceramic and food processing sectors while the second provides support to the Ministry of Construction (MOC) in implementing the building codes for energy efficiency.

The development objective of the project is: “Improved energy efficiency in small and medium enterprises and buildings in Viet Nam contributes to sustainable development and a transition to a low carbon economy”. This objective is consistent with both the VNEEP phase 2 objectives and current Danida support to VNEEP.

The immediate objectives and activities are identified as:

Component 1 – Energy efficiency in SMEs: “Small and medium enterprises in at least 3 sectors adopt energy efficiency measures that will contribute to the VNEEP energy saving targets of between 5-10%. This objective will be achieved through support to project #2.3 under the VNEEP 2011-15, complemented by the initiation of lasting partnerships between Vietnamese and Danish industries. Under this component, a budget of DKK 35 million is reserved to support bankable energy efficiency investment projects of SMEs.

Component 2 – Energy efficiency in buildings: “Improved capacity for implementing energy efficiency in large buildings improves and contributes to the VNEEP energy saving targets of between 5-8%.” This objective will be achieved through support to project #3.1/3.2 under the VNEEP 2011-15, complemented by the initiation of a partnership between the MOC (Viet Nam) and MCEB (Denmark).

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Office (EECO) under the MOIT is the focal point in managing the project.

Source: vietnam.um.dk

Swedish parliament speaker visits Vietnam, attends IPU-132

Swedish Parliament Speaker Urban Ahlin is slated to begin his five-day visit to Vietnam on Saturday on the occasion of Sweden’s participation in the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) that opens in Hanoi the same day, the Swedish Embassy said on Thursday in a press release.

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The speaker of the Swedish Parliament Urban Ahlin

Speaker Ahlin is travelling with a delegation of six parliamentarians from four different political parties, the press release said, adding that they together represent Sweden in two very important committees, the steering Committee on the WTO and the Committee on Middle East Questions.

During his visit, Ahlin will meet with high-ranking  Vietnamese officials to discuss and promote Sweden’s cooperation with Vietnam in such areas as parliamentary exchange, economics and trade and higher education.

The Swedish Speaker will hold talks with Vietnam’s  National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and will later pay a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

He will also have separate meetings with Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang.

Health and transport have been identified as two potential sectors of intensified business opportunities and technology transfer between Sweden and Vietnam.

During his visit, Speaker Ahlin is also scheduled to participate in a field visit to ABB’s transformer factory in Bac Ninh province and join a campaign to raise public awareness about traffic safety.

Ahlin said he is delighted to visit Vietnam for the first time to attend the IPU-132 and to witness the prosperous development of what is considered to be a unique and special bilateral relationship between the two nations, the press release said.

Sweden was the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam already in 1969.

“My visit serves to strengthen ties between our countries and our peoples and provide opportunities for mutual understanding of good parliamentary practices and contributing to the enhancement of trade flows, investment and technology transfers between Sweden and Vietnam,” the press release quoted Ahlin as saying prior to the visit.

The IPU, which is to run from March 28 to April 1, will comprise of a series of meetings and discussion sessions covering the above subjects, among other important issues, under the common theme of “Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words Into Actions”.

Source: tuoitrenews.vn

IPP offers funding grant to Vietnam’s startups & incubators

Vietnamese startups  and incubators will have an opportunity to receive a grant of up to 300,000 Euros ($316,120) and 200,000 Euros ($210,750), respectively, from the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), as part of their second round of funding.

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A promising startup can get up to 30,000 euros ($31,612), while an effective incubator will be supported with the maximum amount of 50,000 euros ($52,670) for the initial round The companies are meant to use the money to pay for human resources and/or research costs.

Notably, the grants are not subjected to refund or any equity/ownership of the companies.

The IPP program, jointly developed by the Finnish government and Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology, has attracted some 200 Vietnam-based startups after calling for an ‘expression of interest’ across four cities in Vietnam, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho.

About 40 startups from Hanoi, pitched their ideas at an IPP program, this morning. Meanwhile, the grant call is expected to be announced in a couple of weeks’ time.

Until then, IPP will assist the startups with mentoring and incubating, in both management expertise and networking with investors.

“When the grant call opens, we will stop our assistance to assure fair competition between the young companies,” said Riku Makela, senior advisor for the program.

This year, the IPP looks for support 20 to 30 projects regardless of the nationality of the startup owners, as long as they are registered in Vietnam and have the potential of global expansion.

To be eligible for IPP funding, the startups must show a plan stating clearly the solution provided and the benefit to the customers, their competition and alternatives, and the resources linked to the core teams as well as their networks.

According to Nguyen Trong Nghia, e-commerce advisor and founder of online travel platform bizigo.vn, this is a huge opportunity for Vietnamese startups to get to know how they can develop in an early stage before entering any funding calling round. “Many startups collapse before they could get seed funding,” he said, adding that startups really need money but also need a mentor.

The majority of Vietnamese startups are founded by information technology engineers or marketing professionals, who often lack comprehensive expertise in doing business, Nghia said.

While the size of Vietnam-based incubators and accelerators is still small, Makela thinks they could join hands to offer more support to startups.

Source: www.dealstreetasia.com

How bamboo bioenergy can help power remote communities

Bioenergy has increased in popularity as a desirable form of energy over the past decade. Europe has been the leader in this innovation, driven predominantly through the use of wood waste from the United States.

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However, sustainability and the high carbon footprint associated with the transportation of the material often long distances between source and energy plants, and the industry in general have been controversial.

Yet there are instances in which bioenergy can be a truly sustainable source of power, in a context where alternatives are simply not feasible.

The island nation of Indonesia is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. Their deforestation footprint is significant, grouping them together with China and the United States as one of the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases.

With more than 17,000 islands and a rapidly growing economy, energy security for the more developed islands, and electrification of the less developed islands has become a priority for the government under new President Widodo.

Under Widodo’s proposed energy reform, a government mandate of moving the country towards renewable forms of power, and in the context of an island nation, there are three main requirements which determine the suitability of any particular form of renewable energy: it must be distributed; it must be local; and it must be available on demand. Bioenergy meets all these requirements.

Indonesian entity Clean Power Indonesia (CPI) has signed an exclusive agreement to bring General Electric’s biogasification technology to the island of Bali. With an ever growing tourism industry, the island’s need for energy is on the rise.

But for bioenergy to be both renewable and environmentally positive, a secure and stable feedstock is required, and this feedstock must be produced to the benefit, rather than the detriment of the environment. The solution? Commercially grown and sustainably harvested bamboo.

US based EcoPlanet Bamboo Group has co-invested with CPI in the development of GE’s plant, and committed to convert degraded land in proximity to the bioenergy facilities into a permanent source of feedstock. Non invasive tropical clumping bamboo reaches maturity within seven years, and thereafter a portion of each plant can be harvested annually, providing a continuous supply of biomass without the need to replant, and maintaining a continuous canopy cover and ecosystem.

Grown on degraded land, and with minimal transportation requirements, this closed loop production system will provide a carbon neutral form of power to an island well known for its positive attitude towards green living.

And the added benefit? The restoration of degraded land into bamboo forests has been shown to regenerate water tables, securing more regular rainfall patterns and increasing the occurrence of streams, rivers and other water bodies.

EcoPlanet Bamboo Group has already proven the concept of sustainability with regards to the commercial production of bamboo feedstock. The company’s plantations in Central America are triple certified with Forest Stewardship Council for their sustainable management, Verified Carbon Standard for their climate change benefits, and gold level Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards for their quantified positive impact on both the environment and surrounding populations.

If the model is successful, its potential to be replicated across the Indonesian archipelago and provide an alternative to the use of diesel generators is immense.

Source: http://www.clickgreen.com/

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014

The competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies continued improving in 2013 and 2014, reaching historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all provide electricity competitively against fossil fuel-fired power generation. Solar photovoltaic (PV) power has also become increasingly competitive, with its levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) at utility scale falling by half in four years.

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Click here to download.

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014 aims to reduced uncertainty about the true costs of renewable power generation technologies, so that governments can be more ambitious and efficient in their policy support for renewables. As this comprehensive report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) underlines, perceptions that such technologies are expensive or uncompetitive are outdated, at best.

Full report

Executive Summary

The report follows from IRENA’s first major costing study, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012.

For more of IRENA’s ongoing renewable energy cost analysis, see www.irena.org/costs.

Source: irena.org

Energy-saving buildings offer banks new financial products

Nearly half of the world’s energy consumption is a result of cooling, heating and ventilating buildings, while construction work is responsible for more than half of the globe’s resources consumption. Addressing these significant levels of consumption is becoming increasingly urgent with greenhouse gas emissions expected to double by 2030, with emerging markets among key contributors to this increase.


The World Bank’s IFC is providing $2 billion for sustainable energy project globally

To underline the dramatic increases in power consumption among developing countries, Vietnam posted a four-fold increase in just a decade to 2008 according to World Bank data and now faces significant power shortage issues. Construction is among the most energy-intensive industries, accounting for 36 per cent of the nation’s total annual energy consumption. Therefore, the sector’s improved energy efficiency is vital to helping energy saving in Vietnam. International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is helping the country tap this huge potential by developing energy efficient, green buildings. To achieve this, it is supporting the Ministry of Construction to enhance the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Code for Buildings, which has been revised to become more technically and economically feasible to implement. The Code is expected to save 15 per cent of energy consumption on every floor square metre.

“Financing energy efficiency and green buildings is not only vital for a sustainable future, but also a smart business approach,” said IFC’s Asia head of Climate Finance William Trant Beloe.

“This is a sustainable development trend and banks that develop this financial product will have an opportunity to access a new market with less risk, while promoting themselves as banks with high levels of social responsibility with green financing programs,” he told a “Energy Efficient Buildings and Green Buildings Financing” workshop, co-organised by IFC and the Vietnam Banking Association in Hanoi, on December 9, 2014.

IFC’s Sustainable Energy Financing (SEF) programme has provided $2 billion in funding for sustainable energy projects globally through financial institutions In Vietnam, Techcombank and Vietinbank have committed $63 million for energy efficiency projects. These projects together have saved 259,512 megawatt hours and avoided GHG emissions by 130,377 tonnes of CO2 annually. It is expected to have other banks to join the programme.

IFC has also developed the EDGE Resources Efficiency Building Certification system, a tool to enable developers to save energy, water and resources in construction materials production, thus reducing GHG emissions. This tool is designed for emerging markets to develop different technical solutions for higher energy efficiency with respective estimated investment costs and savings for developers to choose the appropriate “green” levels for their projects.

Trant Beloe said IFC provides long-term credit lines to local banks that banks use to lend green building developers. IFC supports the design of appropriate financial products for each of its partner banks and technical assistance to partner banks to develop sustainable energy financing products encompassing energy efficiency, cleaner production in industries and energy efficient green buildings. This advisory programme includes capacity building for banks in sustainable energy financing and supports partner banks to participate in developing a sustainable energy finance market in Vietnam including green building finance. With EDGE, bank staff can also perform loan valuations for green homes more efficiently and have a better definition of green buildings as an “asset class”.

IFC is also active in training bank staff in energy efficient or green building financing as well as heightening developers and home buyer awareness of green financing options, providing an e-tool for green buildings and organizing workshops and forums to highlight energy efficiency opportunities to consolidate and fully tap the green building market’s rich potential in Vietnam.

Source vir.com.vn