HCM City encourages solar energy - HCM City encourages solar energy - Website Ho Chi Minh City
Three years after beginning a pilot programme to buy solar power at 2,000 VND (8.7 US cents) per kWh generated in homes and offices, Ho Chi Minh City has signed up 290 consumers.
The city’s power tariffs for domestic consumption range from 1,549 VND to 2,701 VND per kWh, depending on the quantum of use.
Tuoi tre newspaper quoted some people as saying that the high cost of solar panels and equipment is what prevents more from signing up.
Phu Hoang Yen of Tan Binh district said, for instance, she first knew about the solar programme in 2016 through the media, but at that time installing the panels cost 200 million VND (8,700 USD).
Last June, when the cost had gone down to around 100 million VND, she bought the system, but even that price is unaffordable to many people, she said.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Nga of Phu Nhuan district thought about it many times before finally deciding to spend 105 million VND on a solar power system.
Nga said she only pays 1.4 million a month for electricity now, saving around 700,000 VND after installing solar panels.
The people’s committees of Districts 2 and 4 and other departments have also got solar panels installed.
Lam Hung Tan, Deputy Chairman of the District 4 People’s Committee, said with the help of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) his office installed a 345sq.m panel at a cost of 1 billion VND.
“The cost is still relatively high. A household has to spend 79.5 million VND for the cheapest package. At that cost, encouraging its adoption is not easy.”
Tan said the bills would go down further soon since the system could not achieve full capacity due to rainy weather recently.
He added that said there are plans to install solar panels in some hospitals and schools in the district.
Nguyen Hoang Gia of DoST’s energy solutions and new energy unit said his department is offering several incentives for solar power like free consultancy, technical assistance and installation, with consumers only having to pay for the solar panels and other equipment.
It also gets them a 15 percent discount from a local company selling solar panels.
SolarBK Corporation, another major renewables company, said it is working with banks to enable customers to get loans for buying solar panels.
It also offers a 10 percent discount to buyers referred by Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) in HCM City.