Climate Protection through Energy Plants (CPEP 2): Energy Crops on Post-Mining Sites in Vietnam

Vietnam’s demand for energy is rising. Renewable energies certainly will be part of the future energy mix of the country. There is a resource conflict when using energy crops as agricultural land is limited and needed for food production. Degraded and marginal areas which are not suitable for food production or high-performance agriculture could mitigate this conflict. A feasibility study on the potentials of closed mining sites, sites contaminated by dioxine, contaminated industrial sites and landfills identified closed mining sites as the areas with the highest potential.

The CPEP-Project will demonstrate the feasibility of reusing closed mining sites for growing energy crops on a pilot scale in Vietnam. Firstly, the unused land is developed and upgraded by growing energy crops and can be returned back into the economic cycle. Secondly, there are a number of environmental benefits: an integrated cultivation system combining several plant species is a positive contribution to biodiversity and carbon fixation. Moreover, the greenhouse effect will be reduced due to soil improvement and the substitution of fossil energy sources.

Beside the test plantations and their monitoring the project will identify the utilization potential of the produced biomass in the surrounding area. The project will assess the economic feasibility from the preparation of the planting areas until the final energy product.

The project will also consider social issues related to the plantation and utilization of energy crops in the project areas. The approach could create new sources of income and open new sources of energy for the local residents (e.g. biogas, biofuels). That’s wh y the project aims for an active participation of the local communities in the pilot project areas.

Technology and knowledge transfer to mining companies, authorities and local communities will be done through technical manuals and workshops.