PV panels help to cut cost by 30%: Vietnam’s shrimp farmer


Shrimp pond in Bac Lieu province, Vietnam. (Photo: Worldfish / Flickr)

The utilization of renewable energy in the aquaculture industry in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam is becoming more prevalent. Among them, in Bac Lieu Province, known as Vietnam’s shrimp farming hub, shrimp farmers saved up to 30% of their monthly electricity bills after installing solar panel systems.

Trinh Van Hoac, a shrimp farmer in Dong Hai District, Bac Lieu Province, said that before installing solar panels, the average monthly electricity bill for his household and 0.3 hectares of shrimp ponds was approximately 7 million VND (around 290 USD). During peak electricity consumption periods, it reached about 10 million VND (around 410 USD).

After installing solar power systems, Hoac found that, in the non-production season, it dropped to 3 VND million (around 125 USD), while during the production season, the monthly electricity bill was cut 30% off to approximately 7 million VND (around 290 USD). He mentioned, “with abundant sunlight during the day, we can produce a large amount of electricity throughout the day, and there is even excess power.”

According to Bac Lieu Province statistics, there are 44 organizations and individuals installed solar systems for shrimp farming so far, covering a total area of about 70 hectares.

Ho Thanh Tuan, the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Dong Hai District, mentioned that the region has been severely affected by climate change, 5 landslides occurred in 2023, causing a loss exceeding 100 billion VND (around 4.1 million USD). Consequently, local shrimp farmers actively respond to carbon reduction projects by reducing the use of fossil fuels power."

Nguyen Trung Hieu, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Bac Lieu Province, also stated that the costs for shrimp farmers increased by 7%-10% due to the rise in electricity prices last year. However, after installing solar power systems, the reliance on the national grid's electricity significantly decreased by 40%-50%.

Nevertheless, there are still many challenges in the shrimp farms renewable energy integrated model, including the lack of policies and limited capacity of the national power transmission grid, leading to the benefits of the solar power system not being fully utilized and reducing the willingness of shrimp farmers to install the system.

Additionally, the initial investment is relatively high, causing pressure on small-scale farmers. Hoac expressed his gratitude for being fortunate to receive support from the Bread for the World organization (BftW), and only spent 21 million VND (around 580 USD), approximately 30% of the costs, to complete the installation of the solar system."

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