Dual-Use approaches for Solar energy and Food production: International experience and potentials for Viet Nam
Over the past three decades, Viet Nam has undergone remarkable development. Spurred by the economic and political reforms launched under Đổi Mới (Engl. change/renewal) in 1986 the country has developed from being one of the poorest nations worldwide to lower-middle-income status, with strong regional and international economic integration. The country has achieved significant advances in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, including lifting more than 40 million people out of poverty, placing the country number 116 out of 189 on the Human Development Index 2017. Economic growth today is strong, with an estimated GDP increase of 7.1% in the first half of 2018. This growth is primarily driven by a strong manufacturing sector but secondly, by an increasing agricultural production that shows an ever-stronger export orientation.
Currently, the sector represents around 15% of the national export value and contributes 18% of national GDP. Agriculture is a central pillar of the Vietnamese economy and large parts of the population depend on the production of agricultural products. Around 66% of the more than 92 million people in the country live in rural areas and 47% of jobs (25.6 million people) are in primary production agriculture.
At the same time, Viet Nam has managed a similarly impressive development of its energy sector. Between 1990 and 2015 the electrification rate, i.e. the rate of households that are connected to the national power grid, increased from below 30% to 98% - a rate unprecedented in the entire Southeast Asian region. In the same period, Viet Nam added almost 40,000 MW of mainly state budget-funded power generation capacity, predominantly hydro and coal power plants. Over the last years, the government initiated
a process to transform the energy market from a centrally planned and SMO-dominated public sector with political price setting to a more liberalized market with competitive price setting mechanisms. Furthermore, the government included renewable energies,
mainly wind and solar energy, in their power development strategy and introduced support mechanisms such as Feed-in-Tariffs (FiT) and preferential tax treatment for wind and solar energy investment projects.
Key words: solar energy, agriculture, Vietnam.
Author: Rainer Brohm and Nguyen Quoc Khanh (case study development and GIS analysis)
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