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.”

Improving solar energy solutions in Vietnam and Cambodia

Solar energy is a clean and available energy source. If this renewable energy source is used effectively, then the deforestation from hydropower construction will not happen anymore. Vietnam and Cambodia are two countries in South East Asia that have advantages in solar energy sources.

On Energy Policy, Experts and Officials Differ

Experts last week urged Cambodia to move away from large-scale hydropower and coal projects and toward more environmentally friendly sources of power or risk long-term energy insecurity, following the launch of a report by investment and advisory firm Mekong Strategic Partners in Phnom Penh. The report highlights how the increasing affordability of renewable technology combined with an international interest in efficiency and sustainability are leading most countries away from fossil fuels—with Cambodia seemingly heading in the opposite direction.