Small hydro plants, big problem

Professor Vũ Trọng Hồng, Chairman of the Việt Nam Irrigation Association, speaks to the newspaper Nông Thôn Ngày Nay (Countryside Today) about the dangerous impact of the proposal to build four super small hydro power plants in the central province of Quang Nam.

Sun, Partnerships Power Thailand Solar Project

Sitting in the courtyard of his home in Lopburi Province, 180 kilometers north of Bangkok, Saichol Thanomsak remembers what life was like for the nearly 600 people in Moo 3 Village before Asia’s largest thin-film photovoltaic solar energy project moved in nearby. Land was not fertile and jobs were scarce, forcing breadwinners to seek employment elsewhere. For those who remained, life could be grim.

“The armed forces use nearby fields for firing practice and villagers would collect artillery shells for scrap metal,” he says. “Sometimes they blew up and there were many injuries. Today, we don’t have to take such risks. Our village benefits greatly from the solar plant. It has allowed so many of us to stay home and make a decent living.”