Renewable energy development in Vietnam: Great untapped potential

Considered as a country with great potential for renewable energy (RE), but so far, the development of this energy source in Vietnam has not matched the potential. Why?

Great strength

Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade, said that Vietnam is located in a tropical monsoon region, with the average number of sunshine hours in a year ranging from 2,500 to 3,000 hours, the average temperature of over 21 degrees Celsius, a long coast of over 3,260 km, and sea breeze all year round.

Therefore, Vietnam can take advantage of this strength to develop renewable energy sources.

Mr. Nguyen Van Vy - Vice Chairman of Vietnam Energy Association stated that with the state of the art technologies currently, wind turbines can generate electricity at the wind speed of 5 m/s and above. It is estimated that the capacity of onshore wind power in Vietnam could reach 40 - 50 thousand MW. If including the potential for offshore wind power, Vietnam could develop over 100 thousand MW wind power.

At the same time, the solar radiation in Vietnam can average about 3 - 5 kWh /m2/day, the average number of sunshine hours is around 2,500 - 3,000 hours. In Vietnam, solar panels can be mounted in many different areas such as on the coast, on lakes, in plains, mountains, forests, on rooftops, etc. If 1 MW solar power can be gained from around 1 ha area on average, tens of thousands of megawatts can be attained from solar radiation in Vietnam.

As for biomass energy, Vietnam is a country with strong agriculture, forestry and fishery industries, having a great number of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and by-products. In addition, industrial and residential waste can be used to generate electricity. Biomass energy in Vietnam reached about 58 million TOE in 2015, estimated to reach about 70 million TOE in 2030 and about 88 million TOE in 2050.

Vietnam has a lot of potential for developing renewable energy, especially solar power

Effective support policies should be in place

Vietnam's renewable energy development strategy up to 2030 with a vision to 2050 has been approved by the Government as the basis for renewable energy development in Vietnam. However, the implementation of renewable energy investment projects has encountered many difficulties and obstacles such as:

- Capital sources, land acquisition and clearance, etc.;

- Renewable energy development master plans are made at regional levels only, without any specific locations, causing difficulty in synchronously planning and developing power grids;

- The availability of renewable energy projects is intermittent, reserve power sources are needed as back-up;

- The system of specialized codes and standards/ design, operation standards, etc. in the field of renewable energy is inadequate and inconsistent.

In order to facilitate renewable energy development, the Government should:

- Complete and promulgate special mechanisms and policies (on capital, tax, land use, etc.) to attract resources to investment and development;

- Develop renewable energy development master plans at provincial and national levels;

- Promulgate national codes and standards, specialized codes and standards related to equipment, design, operation and connection, etc. of renewable energy sources.

  • 08/12/2017 05:40