Representatives from Gia Lai province emphasised the urgency of enacting a dedicated Renewable Energy Law to overcome regulatory challenges and promote sustainable growth in the country's renewable energy sector.
On July 21, the specialised monitoring delegation from the National Assembly's Standing Committee conducted a working session with Gia Lai People's Committee to assess the implementation of energy and renewable energy policies during the 2016-2021 period in the Central Highlands' province.
Calls for a dedicated renewable energy law
During the delegation's discussions, Nguyen Huu Que, Deputy Chairman of Gia Lai People's Committee, praised the positive impact of renewable energy projects in terms of land utilisation and socioeconomic development in the province.
“However, the sector has encountered regulatory hurdles, with fragmented investment management and construction quality issues affecting project progress. Disputes over land compensation, especially in wind energy projects, have further complicated matters,” he said.
Ho Van Nien, Secretary of Gia Lai Party Committee, urged the National Assembly to consider the formulation of a dedicated Renewable Energy Law or the revision and supplementation of the Electricity Law to incorporate specific provisions for the renewable energy sector.
Addressing compensation mechanisms for wind energy projects
To address land compensation challenges, Pham Nguyen Hung, deputy director of the Electricity and Renewable Energy Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), informed the delegation that the government has instructed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to establish regulations for compensation and support related to land and assets within the safety corridor of wind energy towers. This measure aims to provide clarity and alleviate concerns among residents.
Regarding the definition of "residential areas," Hung stressed that unauthorised construction of houses or plots without proper residential land planning would not be eligible for compensation.
Bui Van Cuong, secretary-general of the National Assembly, expressed overall satisfaction with Gia Lai's adherence to state regulations on energy development during the 2016-2021 period. He praised the province's proactive approach, saying, "Gia Lai had early plans for hydropower and renewable energy projects in 2012 and 2018, respectively, contributing to local socioeconomic development.”
Regarding operational inefficiencies, Cuong attributed responsibility to the MoIT and Vietnam Electricity (EVN), emphasising the need for thorough assessment and proper transmission and consumption system planning to avoid wasteful situations.
On the same day, the monitoring delegation visited the Ea Nam wind energy project, developed by Trung Nam Group in Ea H'leo district, Dak Lak province.
Nguyen Tam Thinh, chairman of Trung Nam Group and director of the Ea Nam wind energy project, provided valuable insights into the 400MW venture, contributing 1.1 billion kWh annually to the national grid.
The project operated seamlessly within its schedule, significantly bolstering the local budget with VND3 trillion ($125 million) in corporate income tax and annual contributions of VND250 billion ($10.4 million) to the provincial budget. Additionally, the project generated favourable socioeconomic benefits for the local community.
Thinh urged the delegation to advocate for revisions in electricity pricing mechanisms, saying, "We propose that the delegation provides input to the National Assembly and the government to review electricity pricing mechanisms to ensure investors can cover bank loan interests.”
He also proposed incentivising domestic enterprises capable of developing applicable technologies, thus maximising the country's internal capacity for sustainable energy growth. These measures are vital for fostering a conducive environment for the renewable energy sector in Vietnam.
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