Photovoltaic application in aquaculture to be piloted in Mekong Delta

Friday, 2020-04-10 09:45:10
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Under the "SHRIMPS" project, photovoltaic modules will be installed on the roofs of shrimp greenhouses at a pilot plant in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. (Illustrative image)
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NDO – The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) has signed a collaboration agreement with partners in Vietnam’s public and private sectors concerning the implementation of a project on combining aquaculture and solar photovoltaics in the Mekong Delta region.

The “SHRIMPS” project (Solar-Aquaculture Habitats as Resource-Efficient and Integrated Multilayer Production Systems) is part of the research cooperation between the Government of Vietnam and the Government of Germany.

It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the Research for Sustainable Development Framework Programme, through supporting research and development activities of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), the Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology, SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH and Suntrace GmbH. Vietnamese partners include the Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry, the National Energy Institute of Vietnam, a major shrimp production company in Vietnam, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Bac Lieu province.

Under the project, which is set to run for three years, photovoltaic modules will be installed on the roofs of shrimp greenhouses at a pilot plant in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu.

The project aims to optimise the use of aquaculture land, helping to reduce freshwater consumption, wastewater generation and CO2 emissions while maintaining stable water temperature for shrimps to grow, as well as improve the working conditions for employees at the plant.

Tobias Cossen, Project Director at GIZ, affirmed that the project would provide a practical solution to optimise the simultaneous use of land for food and energy production in Vietnam, as well as enabling local aquaculture areas to better adapt to the impacts of climate change.

GIZ will oversee the installation of the pilot plant and then transfer the technology to small and medium-sized fishery enterprises in other provinces, and eventually replicate the model in other countries across Southeast Asia, he said.

Prior to signing the agreement, Fraunhofer ISE completed a pre-feasibility study on the potential for combining shrimp farming with photovoltaics in the Mekong Delta in 2018 on behalf of GIZ. Fraunhofer ISE also tested the technical and commercial feasibility of dual land use for solar power generation and commercial aquaculture on a specific shrimp farm run by a major Vietnamese company in the field.