Smart cities and streetlight systems
A report by the Ministry of Planning and Investment shows that electricity for lighting in Vietnam accounts for about 35% of the total electricity supply, while the rate is 15-17% in the world.
Huynh Vinh Khanh, chairman of the southern province of Ben Tre, said before July 2020, Ben Tre City’s streetlight system used halogen technology bulbs.
The lighting system consumed large amount of power, while the lifespan of bulbs was short and maintenance cost was high.
Every year, Ben Tre had to pay VND6.2 billion for power and VND3.5 billion for management and maintenance of this system.
Since July 2020, Ben Tre has replaced the old street lighting system with a smart one using Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The new lighting system includes 6,800 sets of sodium and compact lights and smart devices.
“The lamp posts are controlled remotely and from 11pm the lights will be reduced to save electricity. We have reduced electricity consumption by 50-60% and saved about VND3 billion per year," said Chairman Huynh Vinh Khanh.
Using technology to save energy
Energy saving solutions for lighting are more urgent than ever.
If technology is applied, Vietnam will significantly reduce electricity consumption to approach the world standard.
According to studies, offices and public places that install an automatic on/off smart system can save up to 40% of monthly electricity bills. Recently, a research team from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology has tested a smart public lighting system in the National University Urban Area and the inner roads of the High-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City, which helps save 50-70% of power consumption compared to high-pressure mercury lamps.
There are no detailed statistics of the total spending on urban lighting in Vietnam. However, based on Ho Chi Minh City’s data, Vietnam can save trillions of VND from the application of technology.
According to data from the HCM City Department of Transport in 2017, electricity for public lighting in HCMC was up to 93 million kWh, equivalent to VND180 billion. However, this was just spending on the public lighting system managed by the Department of Transport.
The figure may double for the entire public lighting system in Ho Chi Minh City. It is said that this city can save tens of billions of dong per year if it uses smart lighting technology solutions.
It is common to see roads shining at night even when there is no traffic in Vietnam. The old lighting system is causing too much waste.
Many countries around the world have set smart lighting system as a criterion for building urban infrastructure, but in Vietnam, the deployment of smart lighting systems has just begun.
Only large cities in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh are building smart cities and applying IoT technology to public lighting management.
Renewable energy output is being reduced even as Vietnam is seeing blackouts as power consumption is off the charts.
Demand balance has always been an important input for the development planning of the power industry. It is necessary to carefully calculate future electricity demand to balance supply and demand and ensure energy security for the country.