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Vietnam renewables hold great potential in ASEAN: VCCI Chair

Vietnam is attracting a number of renewable energy projects.

Vietnam has become one of the most vibrant and attractive renewable energy markets in Southeast Asia.

Renewable energy in Vietnam is forecast to become one of the sectors that will thrive the most among the ASEAN countries, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) told a recent forum on solutions to develop renewable energy in the country.

At the forum held in Hanoi on October 28, participants agreed that Vietnam’s fast-growing economy requires high consumption of energy, causing great challenges to the depleting fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

Statistics from local agencies showed Vietnam would face power shortages in the 2021 – 2025 period, and from 2023 onwards, the country may fall short of up to 13 billion kWh, while the country’s total capacity of oil-fired power plants would be nearly 11 billion kWh. By the end of 2023, the power shortage would be up to 12,690MW.

The power shortage will be fixed by 2024 and 2025 thanks to some thermal power plants becoming operational, but still the shortage would be about 7,250MW.

Solutions to power shortage 

To mend the power shortage, Mr. Loc said that the Politburo issued Resolution No.55-NQ/TW dated February 11, 2020 on Vietnam’s national energy orientations to 2030, with a vision to 2045. Resolution No.55 sets the development orientation for the renewable energy sector in Vietnam based on the development trend and the energy demand in the region.

If the plan is properly implemented, Vietnam would lure a large number of renewables investors, making the sector the driving force for Vietnam’s economic development, Mr. Loc emphasized.

In response to the Vietnamese government’s incentives for the development of renewable energy sources, many renewable energy power projects are in the pipeline. As of the end of August 2020, the total capacity of renewables added to the mastet plan reached nearly 23,000MW, including 11,200MW of solar power and 11,800MW of wind power.

According to the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, over the past two years, Vietnam has drawn in a considerable number and renewable energy projects. Up to now, the country has put into operation 102 solar power projects with a total capacity of 5,245MW.

With a record of new solar PV capacity put into operation, Vietnam has become one of the most vibrant and attractive renewable energy markets in Southeast Asia, Mr. Loc said. However, such the development process is also posing new challenges to the development of the grid system, land use, feed-in-tariff mechanisms, technology, manpower and financial resources.

So far, there are still many bottlenecks, causing the delay of projects, even the risk of cancelation, which need close coordination between ministries, branches and localities to address them.

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