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Apr 10, 2020 / 23:00

Germany helps double land use in aquaculture farming and solar energy project

Using renewable energy can help aquaculture sector in Vietnam alleviate pressure on land and protect the environment.

A project on combining aquaculture farming with photovoltaics in Vietnam by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German research institute - Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) will maximize land use and protect environment.

 GIZ-supported solar-aquaculture project in Mekong delta. Photo: GIZ

“The project offers a practical solution to double the use of land to produce both food and energy in Vietnam and helps to achieve greater resilience of local farms to climate change impacts,” said Tobias Cossen, project director on behalf of GIZ.

“We will monitor the installation of the pilot plant and in the next step, the technology will be transferred to small and medium-sized aquaculture businesses in other provinces and finally to further countries in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Signed between GIZ, ISE, and Vietnamese partners from private and public sectors, “Solar-Aquaculture Habitats as Resource-Efficient and Integrated Multilayer Production Systems” (SHRIMPS) project is the installation of solar modules on the roofs of shrimp greenhouses at a pilot plant in Bac Lieu province.

Set to run until 2022, the project will effectively make use of the farming land, reduce freshwater consumption, wastewater and CO2 emissions, while keeping an optimal water temperature for shrimp growth as well as improve working conditions for the employees at the facilities.

SHRIMPS project helps double the use of land. Photo: GIZ 

The project is part of Germany’s research cooperation efforts in Vietnam. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), SHRIMPS is within the framework program “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA3) that supports the research and development of partners Fraunhofer ISE, the German Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology, SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH and Suntrace GmbH.

Vietnamese partners include Nong Lam University in Ho Chi Minh City, the Vietnamese Institute of Energy, a major Vietnamese shrimp production company, and Bac Lieu’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Using renewable energy enables the aquaculture sector in Vietnam to alleviate the pressure on land and sustainably develop and protect the environment and this project can help in the context that Vietnam is striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 8% and 25% by 2030 while meeting an annual increase of 10% electricity demand.

SHRIMPS helps solve the problem that groundwater is increasingly used for aquaculture farms in the Mekong region due to more surface water pollution that leads to a steady land subsidence.