Vietnam concocts plan for cooling

November 16, 2023 | 14:52
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The Vietnamese government is to develop a national plan to address challenges caused by the cooling sector, which is a major source of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

At a consultation workshop on the issue on November 9, technical expert Nguyen Tien Hai offered an assessment and projections of growth in the cooling sector in Vietnam.

“This was a major energy consumption area in 2022, accounting for one-quarter of the total energy consumption of the country. The total number of air-conditioners in Vietnam reached over 20.7 million, and this is expected to reach 75 million by 2050,” Hai said.

Vietnam concocts plan for cooling
Bulding a robust cooling action plan will help tackle issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, Photo: Shutterstock

The workshop was co-organised by the Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), the United Nations Office for Project Services, and the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership.

The consultant units are to conduct an in-depth study and survey to assess the current state of the cooling sector, including the technology available, market status, and to stocktake both international and national policies.

Based on such analysis, through this assignment, proposals will be made to develop the National Green Cooling Action Plan (NGCAP) to promote conversion to high-energy efficiency and low carbon technologies, and increase energy savings in the sector.

The schedule to build NGCAP combines three periods. The first phase is an assessment of the current situation and the development of a plan, and the second phase is an assessment of demand, which includes the assessment of the current and future demand per sector and suggestions tailored to each. In the third phase, the parties will complete and develop NGCAP report and implementation guidelines.

According to the MoNRE, Vietnam is undergoing rapid urbanisation due to the drastic increase in the population. Besides that, the extreme heat also adds to the demand for cooling. Food security also raises the demand for refrigeration in terms of cold chain logistics and infrastructure.

The development of the NGCAP will assess and reflect the effects of increasing cooling activities and reducing GHG emissions on vulnerable groups, ensuring an inclusive and gender-balanced approach.

“This development will align with Vietnam’s latest GHG emissions targets and commitment to the net-zero target by 2050, ensuring that the proposed strategies and interventions are consistent with the country’s goals,” added Hai.

Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc, deputy head of the GHG Emission Reduction and Ozone Layer Protection Division under the MoNRE said, “The result of in-depth study and survey will be the basis for not only building NGCAP, but also be important data for the ministry to develop a plan to eliminate substances that deplete the ozone layer and cause the GHG effect.”

The MoNRE recommends that to establish an effective NGCAP, it needs the integration of both active and passive cooling. It clarified specific measures to promote active cooling within the NGCAP. Accordingly, the government can implement incentive policies to encourage businesses and individuals to use highly energy-efficient cooling equipment and systems.

The ministry added it is necessary to enhance the design and construction of green buildings, and the government needs to support businesses and individuals in constructing green buildings that incorporate passive cooling solutions. In addition, it also needs natural solutions such as green roofs, while urban landscaping can help reduce the urban heat island effect and create more comfortable outdoor spaces.

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