Vietnam explores renewable energy export strategy

December 26, 2023 | 17:40
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On December 23, Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha tasked the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) with developing a framework to explore wind and solar energy.
Vietnam explores renewable energy export strategy

This directive taps into the country's substantial renewable energy potential, particularly in terms of offshore wind power, where capacity is estimated at 600GW. Investors have shown keen interest in exporting it to markets like Singapore and Thailand, though they face obstacles due to the absence of a coherent policy on licencing and project investment.

Following a recent session discussing the draft plan for Vietnam's Power Development Planning VIII (PDP8), DPM Ha highlighted the importance of harnessing the nation's renewable resources.

"This initiative is not just about tapping into our potential. It is about creating added value and laying a foundation for the renewable energy sector's future expansion," he said.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with investors on December 3, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh indicated that Vietnam Oil and Gas Group has been instructed to explore the development of offshore power transmission lines and to promote offshore wind energy.

Seven months after the approval of the PDP8, an actionable plan remains unformulated, primarily due to local ambitions to exceed the outlined renewable energy limits. The proposed capacities for renewable energy, biomass, and waste-to-energy are significantly higher than those in the original plan.

As a result, DPM Ha has called for a thorough review of the specifications of renewable energy projects slated for implementation up to 2025. These include onshore wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-energy, and small hydropower projects.

In addition to finalising project lists up to 2030, the MoIT has been urged to prepare a reserve list to pre-empt any reactive adjustments in planning and ensure a consistent power supply in the event of project delays.

Under the PDP8, Vietnam aims to achieve a solar power capacity of just over 12,800MW by 2030. This includes over 10,000MW from centralised and 2,600MW from self-consumption installations.

The MoIT is also examining mechanisms to integrate renewable energy with storage and self-consumption rooftop solar power, prioritising system safety and competitive pricing.

The government has further directed the MoIT to propose an authority for adjusting the capacities of renewable energy sources among various localities, or within a single province or city.

The draft of the PDP8 estimates that nearly $120 billion in capital is required for developing the various power sources.

Of this, approximately 76 per cent is expected from private investments (around $91 billion), with the remainder coming from the state. Public investment, earmarked at about $50 billion, will primarily focus on policy development and enhancing the electrical sector's capacity. Rural, mountainous, and island electrification programmes are allocated around $1.3 billion, with about 30 per cent currently funded.

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By Tri Lam

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