Well lit road in Vietnam
A well-lit road in Da Nang at night.

Promoting Energy Efficient Public Lighting in Da Nang, Vietnam

A Simple but Effective Way to Combat Emissions-Related Climate Change
By Nora Brown

Energy efficiency is a critical ingredient in the fight against climate change. Reducing the amount of electricity needed to carry out even simple daily tasks can help curb greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

Modernizing and upgrading street lighting infrastructure with more energy efficient technology is an easy way for cities to save electricity and promote sustainable development. Da Nang, a city of more than 1.1 million people in central Vietnam, has identified energy efficient public lighting as a key part of their energy reduction strategy and a critical aspect of becoming a green city. The city has nearly 92,000 bulbs and spends approximately USD $3.5 million a year on electricity bills for public lighting. USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security (VUES) worked closely with Da Nang Public Lighting Company (DAPULICO) to assess the current public lighting system, and to outline both the energy savings potential and investment needed for upgrading Da Nang’s public lighting.

The USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security team conducted an energy audit as part of the initial assessment. The team gathered technical information on existing public lighting, assessed and consulted with DAPULICO on appropriate energy efficient solutions, and analyzed potential financing solutions. The findings were captured in an investment roadmap and financial investment report for DAPULICO’s consideration. Through this assessment, it was estimated that the city could save 8MW with the adoption of energy efficient solutions – that’s enough to power more than 10,000 households. The analysis showed the most effective energy efficiency measure would be the replacement of all traditional bulbs with LED bulbs, and the installation of smart control systems throughout the city. By adopting these measures, it is estimated that the city can save up to $1.8 million per year.


An energy audit taking place at night in Da Nang, Vietnam.

DAPULICO and the City of Da Nang can use the assessment to collaborate with partners and potential investors to adopt the widespread upgrades needed to realize the energy savings quickly and leverage those savings to pay for the upgrades.

USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security supports the promotion and deployment of advanced, distributed energy solutions to improve urban energy resilience and energy security in Vietnam.

For more information on the VUES activity:

Strategic Objective
Emissions, Low Emission Development, Clean Energy, Mitigation, Urban

Nora Brown

Nora Brown has been working in the field of international development for 15 years, focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment to achieve development outcomes. Nora currently serves as Chief of Party of USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security, which is focused on deploying advanced and distributed energy solutions in urban settings through technical assistance and investment mobilization. Prior to this role, Nora was a Strategic Investment Advisor with USAID INVEST, the flagship initiative of USAID for aligning the resources and capital of donors, investors and corporate entities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Nora previously served as Chief of Party for the USAID Center for Development Innovation project within the US Global Development Lab, supporting the Agency’s work in open innovation programs. 

Before joining DAI, Nora served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Global Business School Network, a non-profit organization she helped found, and worked in the field of finance, managing the investment portfolios of private clients for UBS. She holds a M.A. in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

More on the Blog

After its success with improving solid waste and water management, the city of Indore, India has consistently been ranked the cleanest city in that country by the government’s annual Swachh Survekshan survey. Now, Indore is focused on having cleaner skies.
March marks the onset of the dry and hot season in Thailand. In the region, dry vegetation coupled with small human-made fires often result in uncontrolled forest fires. Agricultural burning and forest fires, including transboundary haze, contribute to high levels of pollution. Forest fires release particulate matter (PM) into the atmosphere including PM2.5 which are microscopic particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less – 30 times smaller than the diameter of the human hair.
Climate change and population growth are increasing concerns for global food security. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached record high levels and the world is currently on track to overshoot the targets of the Paris Agreement, heightening the importance of developing technologies to help farmers adapt to climate change. This is especially urgent for the poorest and most vulnerable farmers, who already struggle to produce enough food.