Japanese groups steadfast in ambition to aid energy goals

April 18, 2023 | 09:33
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To achieve carbon neutrality amid growing energy demand in Asia, the Japanese government is willing to cooperate with ASEAN countries like Vietnam to achieve energy transition by providing financial and technical support for the demonstration and introduction of decarbonisation technologies.

Japan has launched the Asia Energy Transition Initiative, which includes knowledge sharing, technology development, and deployment of decarbonisation and $10 billion in financial assistance to push forward energy transition. The Japanese prime minister also proposed the Asia Zero Emissions Community concept in his last visit to Vietnam.

Japanese groups steadfast in ambition to aid energy goals
Taketoshi Nagaoka - Chairman, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vietnam

In line with initiatives like these, Japanese companies would like to contribute to a realistic energy transition in Vietnam by promoting the private investment and social application of decarbonisation technologies.

As one example, alongside the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we jointly organised a workshop on Vietnam-Japan cooperation for the development of power and energy fields for decarbonisation.

It was a meaningful opportunity to share information and exchange opinions on various aspects of Japanese energy strategy towards carbon neutrality, state-of-the-art decarbonisation tech, and financing methods for infrastructure development.

Since Japan has many similarities to the energy structure and security of Vietnam, various Japanese decarbonisation measures such as zero-emission thermal power technologies, consumer energy-saving technologies, and on-site power generation and storage have a high affinity with Vietnamese energy policies.

To promote cooperation with the Vietnamese government in the future, we have several requests.

Firstly, amid growing electricity demand, Vietnam is facing power shortages, especially in industrial parks in the north. For this, the early release of Power Development Plan VIII is essential to ensure investment in power generation in line with the growth of the economy. In recent years, Japanese companies have been increasing projects in Vietnam for the growing demand for renewable power generation. However, the delay has seriously affected not only the renewable power plants, but the linking industries such as biomass fuel production, which have been halted.

Japanese groups steadfast in ambition to aid energy goals
Japan is involved in several energy initiatives that help in knowledge sharing and tech transfer, Photo: Shutterstock

Second, early implementation of gas-fired power generation is critical. This type of generation contributes to meeting the rapidly increasing demand for electricity, as well as facilitating renewable energy.

Third is the amendment of the existing investment and public-private partnership regulations. Large-scale power generation projects such as gas-fired and offshore wind power cannot be fully implemented by Vietnamese companies and local banks alone, and it is essential to attract foreign companies and financial institutions. However, the current system provides insufficient or uncertain support for investors, which undermines the predictability and the security for foreign-invested enterprises.

Finally, we need the promotion of rooftop solar power and early introduction of direct power purchase agreements for promoting renewable power. We would also ask to relax the eligibility requirements under current purchase agreements, which is to purchase at least 30MW per customer.

This year marks 50 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan. Both countries have always had a mutually beneficial relationship, and this relationship is growing stronger. We hope to further develop the friendly relationship between our two countries.

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By Taketoshi Nagaoka

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