Reaping the fruits of education – Green Banking Training helps to develop the first project finance scheme in Viet Nam

Solar plant Mui Ne in Viet Nam; Photo: Hiep Huynh

Solar plant Mui Ne in Viet Nam; Photo: Hiep Huynh

After three years and 40 seminars with more than 750 participants, the Green Banking Capacity Building Programme in South East Asia comes to an end. The Renewables Academy (RENAC) AG started with the programme in 2015 with the goal to globally increase the availability and use of financing instruments for Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects as well as the willingness of financial institutions to get involved in RE and EE finance and facilitate the accessibility to global climate finance options. Green Banking was a scholarship programme within the International Climate Initiative (IKI) funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The results of a survey conducted at the end of the project lifetime (April 2019) answered by Green Banking participants showed that the trainings helped to enhance knowledge of the topics and provide insight to the sector.

One of the participants who was able to integrate the expertise gained into his profession is Hiep Huynh, who is working at a financial institution in Viet Nam. Due to his personal believe that Green Energy is an important part of sustainable development, Hiep was highly motivated to educate himself in Climate Finance and applied in 2017 for a scholarship at RENAC for the Green Energy Finance Specialist (GEFS) programme. Having been selected to participate in the six months long training he completed it with very good results.

According to Hiep, the GEFS training helped him to structure his ideas and questions concerning Green Finance. These ideas became reality: In 2017 he started to oversee the financing of photovoltaic projects in his company. It was the perfect time because in 2017 the Vietnamese Government issued a decision providing supporting incentive mechanisms for solar energy development such as tax breaks, import duty as well as land lease exemption. This support has led to an increase in applications from project developers seeking debt finance and funding. Hiep´s company had three simple-yet-effective criteria to evaluate the incoming project proposals: (i) land, (ii) grid, and (iii) government. Of more than 50 solar projects Hiep and his team reviewed, they selected three projects to the second round and picked Mui Ne Solar Project for funding and debt arrangement.

The Mui Ne Solar Plant located in the Binh Thuan Province covers an area over 38 hectares of inhospitable land with a capacity of 40 MWp. The project began construction on 12th October, 2018 and hosted a completion ceremony on 12th June, 2019. It produces over 65 million kWh per year, enough to power the nearby city - a great success for Renewable Energy and Climate Finance in South East Asia!

Huynh Hiep as participant at the Green Energy Finance Specialist Seminar in Hanoi, 2017; Photo: RENACHiep Huynh presented his success story at the Green Banking Alumni Conference in Hanoi. One out of five Conferences that were held in the respective partner countries Indonesia, India, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam in March and April 2019. Because of its success, the Green Banking programme will now continue in eight Latin American countries.

Even after the funded project phase in Southeast Asia the most popular programme of the Green Banking project (the programme Hiep Huynh participated in), the Green Energy Finance Specialist (GEFS) accredited by the Financial Accreditation Agency (FAA) will be continued on student-fee basis! RENAC will offer the training in Europe (with a F2F Seminar in Berlin) and Asia (with a F2F Seminar in Manila). In Asia, the GEFS programme will be jointly organised by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) and RENAC providing comprehensive, in-depth knowledge on green energy finance topics through a combination of a 20-week online training (Oct 2019 - Feb 2020) and a 3-day face-to-face seminar in Manila (March 2020).

Interested candidates may inform themselves and register via RENAC´s website.