MoNRE finalises regulations for offshore surveys

March 21, 2023 | 17:06
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Unclear regulations related to offshore survey licences for offshore wind projects in Vietnam are likely to be removed as the National Marine Spatial Planning for 2021-2030 will be approved in June.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Quy Kien said at Vietnam Business Forum 2023 late last week that the ministry will finalise regulations for offshore survey consenting, as well as reviewing and approving developers’ applications for offshore survey licences to meet the goal of 7GW of offshore wind by 2030.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) will ask the government to report to the National Assembly for approval of the National Marine Spatial Planning for the 2021 - 2030 period, with a vision to 2045, which contains content to encourage the development of marine resources, including offshore wind power.

Both foreign and domestic organisations will be allowed to participate in offshore wind power surveys. There will also be a specific time limit for the survey, as well as likely exclusive investors for a certain period of time.

MoNRE finalises regulations for offshore surveys
The MoNRE finalises regulations for offshore survey consenting, as well as reviewing and approving developers’ applications for offshore survey licences

Currently, Vietnam does not have regulations on the sea area approved for use for wind measurement, geological and topographic survey, and environmental impact assessment at sea. For each marine area, there is no regulation on how much the maximum wind power capacity for a project is, such as 0.5GW, 1GW or 2GW to both ensure investors are encouraged to participate in the project while ensuring the balance of the power transmission system.

Vietnam Business Forum pointed out recently that many foreign investors are interested in developing large offshore wind farms in Vietnam. However, to develop a large offshore infrastructure project such as offshore wind farms, Vietnam must address the current legal uncertainties.

“We also look forward to the guidance of the government so that survey and development activities for offshore wind projects can commence soon, and prepare projects for early construction and power production. If the framework for offshore wind is set properly, Vietnam can attract billions of dollars of investments into projects and supply chains, create thousands of jobs and establish a strong driver for economic growth in the years to come,” it said.

Regarding Power Development Plan VIII (PDP8), Deputy Minister of Industry of Trade Dang Hoang An said that the ministry was closely reviewing the adjusted Power Development Plan VII as a basis for PDP8 development towards green and clean renewable energy. Priority is given to solar and wind power projects, including offshore wind power, focusing on regional balance of transmission and load components.

“To achieve the goals as committed by the prime minister at COP 26, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will make our best efforts in encouraging and attracting investment in clean energy as well as developing clean industries,” he added.

The Party and state of Vietnam have recently paid great attention to and actively promoted the green economy, circular economy and sustainable development. Vietnam has issued policies on economic development towards sustainability, environmental protection, adaptation to climate change, improvement of investment quality and efficiency, especially foreign investment, focusing on attracting new "green" and higher-quality projects.

These, among others, include Conclusion 56 of the Politburo on proactive adaptation to climate change, strengthening natural resource management and environmental protection, and Resolution No.50/NQ-TW on institutional and policy development and improvement of foreign investment and international cooperation to 2030.

Institutional and policy development has recently been actively promoted in this direction as many important laws such as the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Investment, the Law on Environmental Protection and their by-law decrees aim to achieve green development and environmental protection.

In October 2021, the prime minister approved the "National Strategy on Green Growth for 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050," demonstrating the country's ambitious goal of restructuring the growth model towards to a green economy.

At the COP 26 Climate Conference, Vietnam made a strong commitment to net-zero by 2050, a higher share of renewable energy to over 30 per cent of the total primary energy supply, and a stable forest cover of 43 per cent.

In December 2022, the Vietnamese government and the International Partners Group officially launched the political declaration on establishing the Just Energy Transition Partnership to support Vietnam to deliver on ambitious emissions targets and transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.

By Nguyen Thu

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