Clean energy development: Trends and challenges

This is the theme of Vietnam Energy Forum in 2020, hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on August 16, 2020 in Hanoi. Many views at the forum asserted that Vietnam needs to promptly remove difficulties and obstacles so that the renewable energy market can develop effectively in the coming time.

Challenges are still there

The Politburo's Resolution No.55 on orientation of Vietnam's National Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045, has made many breakthroughs in the national energy development. In particular, all economic sectors, especially the private sector, have been encouraged and provided with favorable conditions to participate in energy development.

At present, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has been requesting relevant organizations to realize directions stated at Resolution No.55 through power development master plans.

Mr. Hoang Quoc Vuong - Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade delivered the opening speech

According to Mr. Hoang Tien Dung - Director of the Electricity and Renewable Energy Agency (Ministry of Industry and Trade), given policies on renewable energy development, Vietnam has made strong strides in developing this type of energy over the last year. However, this rapid development has led to a number of challenges such as: renewable energy sources are being developed massively and densely in some provinces, affecting the capacity of power evacuation; the load dispatch and operation of the power system.

Besides, the development of large-scale renewable energy is limited because: There is a lack of reserve capacity and energy storage system to absorb renewable energy on a large scale; the renewable energy development policy has not been applied for a long time; mechanisms to attract investment capital for renewable energy development through auctions are not in place; there has not been a comprehensive study on the development of offshore wind power projects in Vietnam, etc.

Although renewable energy is confirmed to make a significant contribution to the electricity supply, renewable energy sources have not been able to substitute for conventional energy sources yet. "1,000 MW of renewable energy can only substitute for about 300 – 350 MW of coal fired or gas fired thermal power", Dung said.

Mr. Vo Quang Lam – EVN’s Vice President said that the Group is implementing many solutions to promote the rooftop PV power model.

Technical standards for rooftop PV systems should be issued promptly

In the first 5 months of 2020 alone, due to the modest water flow in hydropower reservoirs, coal fired thermal power output still accounted for 59 - 60% of the total electricity production of the system.

According to Mr. Vo Quang Lam – Vice President of EVN, renewable energy development both reduces the pressure of the power sector in investing in power plants and increases the availability of the power system, especially in the context that the power generation is facing many difficulties. However, in reality, renewable energy sources are accounting for about 10% of the total installed capacity of the power system, but their electricity generation output accounts for just a small percentage (less than 3%) of the total electricity production.

During the past time, there has been a robust development of rooftop PV power in Vietnam.

As of May 31, 2020, there are about 37,000 customers all over the country installing rooftop PV systems with a total capacity of 653 MW. This model brings a lot of benefits to investors. As for households, the rooftop PV power system will contribute to reducing the amount of electricity to be used at the high price level. As for businesses, the rooftop PV system contributes to reducing the amount of electricity to be used during peak hours every day. Thereby, it would effectively reduce the cost of electricity monthly. In addition, the excess solar power output can be sold by investors to the power sector.

"We expect that from now until the end of the year, there will be an additional 500 - 1,000 MW of rooftop PV installations" said Vo Quang Lam.

However, technical standards for rooftop PV systems have yet to be made available. This problem needs to be resolved because it seriously affects the operation of medium and low-voltage grid systems in the near future. Currently, Vietnam Electricity is cooperating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and GIZ to develop technical standards for this model.

  • 18/06/2020 04:18