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  • Renewable Energy Tapping into New Source for Life

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    Upland people laboriously work for a living all year round but they cannot do anything but wait for their final outcome because of harsh weather and infertile soil. Scorching sunlight in the frontier Bay Nui region is already passed into literature “Six months walking on the dried field, half a year stay on the water surface”. The sunlight is sweltering and the temperature is always higher than in surrounding areas. In the dry season, the That Son or Bay Nui (Seven Mountains) region is red-hot and arid.

    Stemming from compassion, imbued with sincerity in this scalding land, “Sao Mai Solar Farm” was built with green panels to absorb the frontier sunshine” to do great things for this remote area. A new life originating from the steppe of clean energy is like a miracle that turns bright sunlight rays into drops of honey for life.

    With the budget of nearly VND1 trillion for site clearance, the investor rescued people from the constant darkness of vicious circle of material and spiritual life and brought them to a new chapter of life that started writing new brilliant line blooms on it. Hundreds of poor Khmer families in An Hao commune - Tinh Bien district unexpectedly became billionaires when they agreed to hand over their land to the investor for the project. They “cannot make ends meet despite working very hard” more than a decade ago. With a stably paid job offered by the project, they, with a handsome sum of money taken from land compensation, are realizing the desire to “making a new life.”

    A majestic picture - "Sao Mai Solar Farm"

    A new leader in the renewable energy market

    As the future of fossil energy is threatened, the prospect of renewables is getting brighter, led by solar power. This is an inevitable trend in the world and in Vietnam as well, helping ensure national energy security and diversify power supplies for socioeconomic development. Solar power is a renewable energy source, converted into electricity, with almost no impact on climate and no damage to the environment. Solar energy as a solution to keep natural resources intact: “The land is still there, only the sunlight is turned into energy”. The investor always places the interests of the people and the government above the interests of the company and creates a strong driving force for socioeconomic development as Karl Marx used to say: “The root of social development is not a cognitive process but a material life relationship, that is an economic interest of people.”

    Being near to the equator and inside the climate belt of the northern hemisphere and having a positive radiation balance all year round, Vietnam has limitless potential for solar energy. In response to well-timed Resolution 55-NQ/TW, the Vietnamese renewable energy sector very quickly made a complete change in less than a year. Renewable energy contributed 80% of electric output growth during this period, targeted to surpass coal-fired electricity in 2025 to become a main source of electricity. “I realize that solar energy will be a new leader in the global electricity market,” said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    Confusing information causes public misperception

    Due to the rampant “fake news” that muddles public opinion, some people are still worried that the huge number of panels will pollute the environment. This is a complete misperception as solar power panels are called “battery” in Vietnamese. “Expired solar cells are not a hazardous waste”, based on scientific researches conducted by many advanced countries in the world. If it badly spoiled for the environment, the United States perhaps would not prioritize investment in this renewable energy and not help Vietnam access the most outstanding technology and fulfil the national targets on renewable energy. Therefore, it is necessary to have a strong communication program to make the public have the right understanding of solar panels to support solar power development in Vietnam.

    The investors have never been hesitant even when figures in the draft "Power Plan VIII" become true: The estimated accumulated volume of waste panels reaches 404,000 tons in 2035 and 1.9 million tons by 2045. From the perspective of “circular economy”, this is not only an opening for the mixed concern that solar cells are a hazardous waste but also a chance for businesses to develop future battery recycling technology.

    According to SolarTech, waste solar panels are not considered hazardous waste in the United States but an input source to reproduce new but cheaper high-quality solar cells. When separating panel components like glass, cell, metal and plastic/polymer, they completely can be used for other purposes. The European Union (EU), the United States, Japan and South Korea all succeeded in this study. Veolia Group (Rousset, France) can recycle up to 4,000 tons a year, enough to recycle for the EU. The “proportional development” of “solar cells” and “recycling industry” promises to be the perfect pair to bring foreign currency to Vietnam.

    Other countries can do it, why Vietnam cannot?

    Technicians are working with electrical connection diagram on the HMI display

    “Renewable energy - A new source for life”, a successful journey, is the crystallization of a “joyful mind” targeting for a meaningful life and a burning desire to dedicate to a noble goal that creates the power to guide perception and vision to the top. It is not groundless for giant firms to bet on solar energy because it is considered a “newly discovered unlimited gold mine”, the only industry that dares to face earthquakes and epidemic diseases. With its own budget, the investor is strong enough to make a good plan for solar power transmission and consumption to ensure harmonious interests of the investor, the government and the people.

    Diệu Lam (Vietnam Business Forum)

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