On 19 June 2017, the National Assembly passed the revised Law on Technology Transfer, which will take effect in July 2018, and replace the 2006 Law on Technology Transfer. The revised law seeks to boost application and development of cutting-edge technologies, new technologies, and clean technologies in priority areas which include renewable energy generation and utilization, alternative energy sources, and highly-effective energy storage. Compared to the 2006 law, the new law puts more emphasis on developing local technological capabilities through new provisions aimed at promoting commercialization of R&D products and intellectual property rights, as well as encouraging enterprises to collaborate with R&D institutions in order to invest in innovative start-ups and engage in R&D activities. While Vietnam has still planned its reliance on conventional power plants in the foreseeable future, in order to meet the challenges related to energy security and climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emission impacts of coal-fired power plants, the government of Vietnam has set out particular policies of promoting renewable energy and clean technology under the National Green Growth Strategy, the Renewable Energy Development Strategy and the amended National Power Development Plan VII. The current focus of Vietnam is on wind, solar, and biomass energy, with the government's plan to gradually increase renewable energy's combined share in the electricity production mix from about 3.7% in 2015 to 6.5% by 2020, 6.9% by 2025 and 10.7% by 2030, according to the amended National Power Development Plan VII.1 Challenges may remain for the development of alternative renewable energy sources, such as high investment costs, land-use impacts, and complexities in connecting intermittent sources such as wind power and solar power with the national power grid. Many of these challenges can be overcome with the help of existing and emerging technologies. Recent studies2 on the development of the renewable energy sector in developing countries, such as China, India, and Thailand, reveal how differently mechanisms of technology transfer can contribute to the development and potential cost reduction for renewable energy.3 Surveys show that technology import and licensing play only limited roles, mostly during the take-off stage/periods of the local industry. Major contributions come from the joint R&D between local firms and foreign firms, or from international R&D cooperation between local firms and foreign research institutions in the progression of local R&D capacity building. As suggested by these studies, the strength of local technological capabilities is expected to have a better impact on cost-reducing investment. The role of the government in developing countries is crucial in promoting technology transfer, most notably through regulatory frameworks and platforms for an active technology market. 1 Decision No. 403/QD-TTg dated 18 March 2016 on the Approval of the Revised National Power Development Master Plan for the 2011- 2020 Period with the Vision to 2030. 2 Adrian Lema and Rasmus Lema, "Low-carbon innovation and technology transfer in latecomer countries: Insights from solar PV in the clean development mechanism," Technological Forecasting and Social Change 104 (2016): 223-236. 3 Joern Huenteler, Christian Niebuhr, and Tobias S. Schmidt, "The effect of local and global learning on the cost of renewable energy in developing countries," Journal of Cleaner Production 128 (2016): 6-21. 2 BMVN International LLC Vietnam’s renewable energy sector, especially wind and solar power, has drawn much interest from foreign investors and suppliers, including the industry’s leaders such as General Electric (USA), Vestas (Denmark), Trina Solar (China), and First Solar (USA). The country has some of the best wind and solar energy resources in Southeast Asia, yet the current development is far below its potential. While the renewable energy sector is in need of more concrete energy policies from the government, the new law on technology transfer can help attract not only foreign firms, but also research institutions and innovators to invest in local R&D efforts to make renewable energy more competitive, thereby driving it toward a long-term sustainable development. In addition to the new law on technology transfer and the government's preferential policies, Vietnam also needs to strengthen its patent/trade secret protection, including shortening the duration of examination of patent applications and effective patent/trade secret enforcement, in order to facilitate technologies transfer from foreign patent/trade secret owners. Hopefully, these issues will be included in the upcoming policies and regulations.
Register now for your free, tailored, daily legal newsfeed service.
Questions? Please contact email@example.comRegister
Technology Law & Renewable Energy Patents
To view this article you need a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.
Popular articles from this firm
If you would like to learn how Lexology can drive your content marketing strategy forward, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related topic hubs
Labor & Employment Attorney
Munck Carter LLP
“The Lexology newsfeed is very relevant to my practice and I like that you can tailor the newsfeed to include specific practice areas. I enjoy seeing a variety of approaches and I will read multiple articles on the same topic for the purpose of getting the fullest understanding of a new law, a court case or other legal development.”