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Oct 02, 2023 / 22:41

Green Future promotes Vietnam-Denmark cooperation for sustainable growth

With the presence of leading renewable energy developers in Vietnam, Denmark has contributed international resources to the country’s net-zero journey.

Denmark in Your Eyes – an annual painting competition launched in Vietnam in 2016 – is an activity demonstrating Vietnam-Denmark cooperation in green growth in recent years. 

 Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam Nicolai Prytz speaks at the launch of Denmark in Your Eyes competition 2023. Photo: Danish Embassy in Hanoi

The competition has “added a lot of value to strengthening our two countries’ long-term cooperation on promoting green and sustainable development,” said Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam Nicolai Prytz.

With more than 18,000 paintings submitted in the last competition, it shows the great popularity of the event among schoolchildren all over Vietnam.

For that reason, “it is an amazing playground for Vietnamese children, not only to express wishes about their future but more importantly to come up with creative ideas about how we can together create a green future and make our planet a prosperous and sustainable home for the well-being of all,” Ambassador Prytz emphasized. 

Under the theme ‘Green Future’, this year’s competition is part of the celebration of the 10th year anniversary of the Comprehensive Partnership between Vietnam and Denmark, an important milestone that elevated the bilateral relationship between the two countries from traditional development cooperation to a full-fledged partnership encompassing political dialogue, green growth, energy, trade and investment and culture.

The competition is open to all Vietnamese primary and secondary schoolchildren who are encouraged to unleash and develop their imagination through creativity and bring their dreams of a Green Future onto papers on various themes, such as environment protection, biodiversity, energy efficiency, green energy, reduction of CO2 emissions, waste management, and climate change.

Denmark in Your Eyes, co-hosted by the Embassy of Denmark and the Vietnam-Denmark Friendship Association (VIDAFA) since 2016, takes on significance this year as the two countries celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership.

 Students of Nguyen Sieu School in Hanoi join the competition. Photo: Danish Embassy in Hanoi  

Broader move

The painting competition, which promotes the engagement of children in a green future through their observation, analysis, and creativity, is among different programs and projects that gave evidence of Denmark’s support in Vietnam’s sustainable development, especially in renewable energy.

Vietnam, in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, is expected to be one of the Southeast Asian energy hubs. In that journey, Denmark’s support is significant through the Danish-Vietnamese Energy Partnership launched in in 2013.

Over the past 10 years, Vietnam and Denmark have entered into a long-term cooperation agreement with the purpose of promoting a transition in Vietnam to a low-carbon economy. Efforts to this end are financed by Denmark and administered by the Danish Energy Agency.

The Danish Energy Agency cooperates with Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) through the joint Energy Partnership Program (DEPP), which focuses on energy efficiency in the industrial sector, integration of renewable energy into the power grid, and long-term scenario modeling of the energy.

It is now phase three of the program, DEPP III (2021-2025). It includes offshore wind as a component and a workstream focused on developing economic incentive schemes for energy efficiency improvements in the industrial sector in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), a leading global investor in offshore wind that has raised over US$ 19 billion across several renewable energy-focused funds is managing a fund specifically targeting fast growing major new economies and with a current strong focus on Vietnam.

In 2020, CIP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Binh Thuan People’s Committee to develop the 3.5 GW La Gan offshore wind farm project off the coast of Binh Thuan. In the same year, CIP, Asiapetro and Novasia Energy established a joint venture, the La Gan Wind Power Development Corporation, to develop the La Gan offshore wind farm project. It’s one of the first large-scale offshore wind farm projects in Vietnam. It has the potential to raise Vietnam’s profile in renewable energy within the region and in the world.

CIP has continued to sign multiple MoUs with Vietnam-based suppliers and ports, and has also entered into a Collaboration Agreement with local developer Xuan Cau to advance the development of several offshore wind opportunities in northern Vietnam.

Sebastian Hald Buhl, Vietnam Country Manager at Ørsted.  

Meanwhile, Ørsted, a Denmark-based renewable energy company that takes tangible action to create a world that runs entirely on green energy, is expanding its presence in Vietnam.

Vietnam Country Manager at Ørsted Sebastian Hald Buhl, in a conversation with The Hanoi Times, highly appreciated the potential of Vietnam’s offshore wind power even though it is still in its infancy.

He said Vietnam has some of the best conditions in Asia for developing offshore wind power projects. With 3000km of coastline, shallow water depths and high consistent wind speeds, Vietnam offers the crucial pre-conditions needed to develop cost-effective and reliable offshore wind power projects. Official estimates of Vietnam’s offshore wind potential range from 160GW (Danish Energy Agency) to almost 500GW (World Bank Group).

“Vietnam’s world-class natural conditions combined with the country’s rapidly growing demand for power have convinced us that offshore wind has a central role to play in Vietnam,” said Sebastian Hald Buhl.

Vietnam will be in a very strong position to launch this new high-tech green industry and see the construction of major offshore wind farms by the late 2020s.

With this forecast, as a long-term investor, Ørsted enters a market with the hope of still being active 50 years into the future. This gives it a unique mindset that differs from many other investors who come to build, sell and leave, Buhl said.

“We are here not only to build world-class offshore wind farms but also to be good and reliable partners for Vietnamese companies, suppliers, stakeholders, and the government,” he stressed.