Federico Bestiani - Director, BEC
Since the update of the policy for FiT2 there has been an unprecedented rush for installations of rooftop systems, and many engineering, procuring, and construction companies had to scale up their operations 10-fold to keep up with the time pressures.
After 11 years in the solar industry I have never experienced such a pressure on the whole supply chain including roof sourcing, material supply, installation, testing, and commissioning with EVN. It made a really remarkable endeavour to update its processes and keep up with the huge demand.
The next year will be characterised by an even bigger challenge for authorities and developers: to standardise the quality level of rooftop installations in terms of compliance to construction law, electrical standards, and fire safety, and to match the grid availability and local consumption.
At the same time, they must find the right supporting mechanism that enables organic development of rooftop solar and minimises loopholes and speculative projects.
Nguyen Thi Lien - Project development manager Vietnam, Trina Solar Co., Ltd.
A reasonable roadmap for rooftop solar should be issued. It should include a regional division of a third FiT to encourage north and central provinces to install more rooftop systems, and in the south where there is better yield.
A long-term FiT should also be applied to avoid cases of force majeure, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and national disasters.
There have already been too many difficulties for rooftop solar systems in the past year with investors rushing to catch the FiT deadline, and this must be taken into account.
Incentives are required for local households to install rooftop systems through preferential programmes to support those in difficult living conditions. There should also be encouragement for commercial and industrial sectors in which there can be potential for rooftop schemes.
Rooftop solar should develop at a reasonable pace and follow government policies meeting equipment standards.
Nguyen Dang Anh Thi - Energy, environment and sustainability expert
The solar rooftop boom in Vietnam indicates that private financial resources for renewable energy investment across the whole of the country are enormously available.
The key thing is how to ensure that reasonable and attractive policies are in place so that the country is able to best use these financial resources.
At the same time, the solar rooftop situation here poses and creates a challenge for the grid operator regarding how to optimise this renewable electricity feeding into the grid, while also considering the interests of the electricity producers.
As the percentage rate of variable renewable energy is increasing in the country, a more conventional transformation to the smart grid is being seen as urgently needed.
Further, some grid flexibility solutions such as energy storage and demand response should be considered in order to facilitate the clean energy transition in Vietnam.
Bui Viet Phuong - Solar marketing manager, Dat Solar
The solar power boom here in Vietnam has demonstrated many shortcomings. For example, the grid and connection in some local areas are not ready for all registered projects. In addition, some industrial parks which require more rooftop systems have not attracted as much as has been initially expected.
Solar rooftop planning should go alongside industrial development planning in Vietnam, because the demand for electricity in the industrial production sector accounts for about 50 per cent of the total output.
Therefore, authorised agencies in the country should be required to develop a robust mechanism in order to encourage the strong development of rooftop solar power. Furthermore, top priority should be given to areas and provinces that already boast a number of industrial parks
Also necessary is the creation of various incentives for energy storage in order to ensure efficient energy.