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Equinor Wind Farm

Ambassador Grete Løchen's address

On 13-14 January 2020, Ambassador Grete Løchen took part in the Vietnam Onshore & Offshore Wind Summit 2020 in Hanoi and delivered an address as a Guest Speaker. Below is the full text of her address at the Summit

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am very honored to be here today and deliver the opening speech at the Vietnam Wind Power Summit here in Hanoi.

Norway and Vietnam have long diplomatic ties since 1971. Our bilateral ties are long and strong. We have a lot of similarities, both being coastal nations. If you look at the map and turn Norway upside down, Norway looks like Vietnam! The ocean economy is important to both our countries. We’re both exposed to extreme weather conditions. The climate change is affecting our communities and our economies in a serious way. We see an increasing awareness that economic growth must go hand in hand with environmental protection. Sustainability is key!

The oil & gas industry in Norway has been very important to our economic growth. Norway has  one of the world's most developed petroleum industries  with state-of-the-art off shore technology. However, recognizing the importance of contributing to green growth by major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas extraction as well as investing more in renewable eneregy sources such as wind and solar is key if we’re going to reach the climate targets in the Paris agreement which both Norway, Vietnam and most of the world have signed off to. We do see within the business community worldwide an increasing understanding that greener, more environemental friendly solutions are not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do – it is smart business!

Governement, private sector, researchers and sivil society must work hand in hand to make this green transition a success. Collaboration is key!

Norway  and Norwegian companies want to utilize its world class capabilities within innovation, technology and large-scale industrial solutions to develop new competitive solutions such as offshore wind power projects.  Norway has for some time been a front runner in offshore wind development in Europe and we also look much further for attractive opportunities. Several countries in Asia are identified as potentials for Norwegian investment in offshore wind and Vietnam can prove to be an attractive one.

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with a stunning 7%+ annual growth in GDP for the last two years. This rapid growth is accompanied by the need to develop new sources of energy. In line with the current Power Development Plan for the electricity sector, Vietnam aim to triple its installed power generation capacity over the next fifteen years. This is a huge task if you want to do it in a sustainable and balanced way. This was also one of the key messages at the Vietnam Business Forum last week.

The importance of a cleaner, greener economy.

Vietnam must diversify the national power supply and make it more sustainable as part of the country’s Green Growth Strategy.

Vietnam is considered to have the best wind resources in South-East Asia. In order to harness this potential, the country has introduced the second feed-in tariffs since 2018, created a more favorable investment environment and called for investments from the private sector. I strongly believe that Norwegian companies, such as Equinor present here today  as well as wind companies from other countries participating in the Vietnam Wind Summit today will find opportunities within the Vietnam wind energy market – both onshore and offshore.

Lastly, I would like to thank the organizers of this event for inviting me for the opening speech. I would also like to thank all the participants for joining and hopefully making the seminar successful. The subject for this conference is very important.  We have no time to loose in assisting Vietnam in providing greener and cleaner energy and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

With these words, I would like to wish you good health, happiness and success.

Thank you and happy Vietnamese New Year, Chuc Mung nam Moi!