Vietnam wins int'l energy award with eco-power supply in Spratly Islands

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  Wind turbines on the Spratly Islands are part of a project which has won Vietnam the Energy Global Award for the third time

Vietnam has for the third time received the Energy Globe Award for a clean energy and lighting project on the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands off the south central coast.

The project, called "Wind- and Solar Energy instead of Smelly Diesel Generators," aims to provide 48 remote islands in the East Sea archipelago with "eco power", news website VietNamNet said in a Wednesday report.

The energy supply system based on wind and solar power was built in 10 months under adverse weather conditions.

So far, more than 5,700 solar power panels, 120 wind turbines, 4,000 batteries and nearly 1,000 LED lights using solar power, have been installed on the islands, the news website said.

Nguyen Tuan Duong, a graduate of the Technical University of Ho Chi Minh City who studied electrical engineering at Sherbrooke  University in Canada, came up with the project that he hoped would end the bad power supply situation in the Spratly Islands, which has so far relied on diesel generators, according to the Energy Globe organization.

Since 2006, Duong has been the general manager of IDSE, an eco-energy company that was first established in 1975 as a research institute for renewable energies. The company aims to turn Vietnam into a pioneer for clean energy.

The project is estimated to generate more than 5,167 kilowatt-hours every day in the islands, enough to meet daily use needs and even wartime demands.

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It will save more than 620 liters of diesel a day, and reduce daily carbonic emissions by more than six tons.

The project, supported by Vietnam Navy Command and the National Oil and Gas Group, PetroVietnam, is expected to convince the Vietnamese government to invest in developing similar systems elsewhere.

Vietnam won the first Energy Global Award for a biogas project by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2007, and the second time in 2009 with an energy saving brick kiln model.

Established in 1999 in Austria, the Energy Global Award has grown into a prestigious international competition with the participation of more than 150 countries that submit more than 1,000 project applications every year.

Its judges include experts from the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Renewable Energy Council.

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