Ensuring publicity, transparency, science and objectivity in the development of Power Planning VIII

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh agreed with the opinion of experts and scientists that the draft Power Master Plan VIII has taken an important step in shaping mindset and solutions for arranging power sources in accordance with the characteristics of each region, area; minimizing investment in the power lines and loss in transmission. Accordingly, more than 6,600km of transmission lines have been reduced, equivalent to more than VND 250,000 billion of investment.

On November 19, at the Government headquarters, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh chaired a conference to collect opinions on finalizing the national electricity development plan for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045 (Power Plan VIII).

The conference was attended by leaders of a number of ministries, sectors, large corporations (EVN, PVN, TKV) and experts, scientists and representatives of some organizations who are interested in energy development: Associations of European Business, USA, Korea, Japan, Global Wind Energy Council, Vietnam Business Forum VBF, Center for Energy Research and Green Growth, Sustainable Energy Alliance in Vietnam.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh: The draft Power Plan VIII takes an important step in shaping mindset and solutions for arranging power sources suitable to the characteristics of each region and area.

Keeping up with Vietnam's commitments at COP26

According to the report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) presented by Deputy Minister Dang Hoang An, under the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh at the conference on Power Plan VIII on 5 November 2021, MOIT implemented additional calculations of the power source development plan (Operation plan in November 2021), taking into account the contingency factor when the implementation rate of the power source does not reach 100% of the plan, and simultaneously consider reducing coal power source in the spirit of COP26, to consult agencies, organizations, localities and experts as well as scientists.

Compared with the draft of the March 2021 Master Plan, the operating plan in the November 2021 draft has shown the developing trend of clean energy sources, renewable energy, in line with the commitment to cut down CO2 at the COP26 Summit. Specifically, it is proposed in the Operating plan for the November 2021 Draft that the source capacity will be reduced by more than 24,000MW by 2030 (from around 180,000MW to 156,000MW), by about 36,000MW by 2045 (from 369,500MW to 333,500MW).

Deputy Minister Dang Hoang An emphasized a number of major points in the Power Plan VIII: reducing coal-fired power; developing renewable energy and new energy. In the field of renewable energy, attention should be paid to ensuring the efficiency, harmony and balance of the whole system. Offshore wind power plays an important role and will be prioritized in the coming period. It is expected to reconsider the development of solar power, which currently shows the disadvantage with a limited number of operating hours (equivalent to 4 hours/day), while there is no energy storage system. "Just one cloud passes through and the capacity is reduced by 40%," said Deputy Minister Dang Hoang An, for example. Meanwhile, the time when power is used the most is in the evening (from 5 pm to 10 pm).

Another point of view in Power Plan VIII is to calculate the balance of sources and loads by region, to limit power transmission to long distances, to minimize inter-regional power transmission (through calculation, compared with the previous draft, this cuts down thousands of kilometers of 500kV transmission lines to be built). In addition, ensuring the provision of each region at a reasonable level, especially in the North, in the current context, the growth rate of power consumption in the North is the highest among the 3 regions.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh affirming: Vietnam is determined to gradually perform transition to clean and renewable energy sources.

Speaking at the Conference, basically, the opinions highly appreciated this draft Master Plan, which shows quite elaborate preparation. The opinions highly appreciated the fact that the Government, the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade were very open, progressive, careful in considering many factors, grasping opinions and comments to complete Power Plan VIII with the best quality. Thereby,  solutions were also proposed to determine the total power capacity and appropriate backup rate; arrange reasonable and balanced power sources among regions and areas to maximize investment savings in transmission system; solutions and roadmap for converting from fossil energy sources to clean and renewable energy sources; the ratio of each type of power source in the national power system, and so on.

“We especially appreciate Vietnam's commitment to "Net Zero" by 2050 at the recent COP26, demonstrating Vietnam's leading role in the transition to clean energy in Southeast Asia.", said Mr. Mathias Hollander, Senior Manager of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), which includes more than 1,500 businesses and organizations in the wind power sector around the world. Citing a report of the World Bank (WB), he said, Vietnam can develop from 5-10GW of offshore wind by 2030, creating about US$ 60 billion in total added value for the whole economy. Thanks to a strong wind power source, offshore wind power projects in Vietnam can achieve a capacity factor greater than 50% - equivalent to the power factor of hydropower. Currently, offshore wind power technologies are being improved at a faster rate than those applied to other energy sources, far surpassing the forecasts of governments. “GWEC is looking forward to working with the Vietnamese Government and MOIT to develop policies that can bring Vietnam's renewable energy system to the world,” affirmed Mr. Mathias Hollander.

Representative of the Vietnam Business Forum Alliance (VBF), Ms. Virginia B.Foote highly appreciated Vietnam's commitment at COP26, the development of Power Plan VIII as well as the cooperation relationship with businesses. “We endorse the expansion of renewable energy projects in the coming decades. We also agreed on the direction of gradually limiting new coal-fired power projects in Power Plan VIII.” Ms. Virginia B.Foote proposed a solution to access flexible capital sources in line with daily technological advances; develop a plan to promptly arrange financial capital into projects. Sharing the same view, the representative of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AMCHAM) suggested that there should be policies to expand the possibility of private participation in power projects, such as the direct power purchase agreement mechanism.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An presenting outstanding views in the draft Power Plan VIII
Hoang Xuan Luong, the representative of the Executive Board of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance (VSEA), said that we are being endowed with an opportunity to embrace international development to move faster into green development. He took the example of South Africa, from 85% dependent on coal-fired power, after a COP Conference, the country took advantage of international support and shifted to renewable energy.

Mr. Hoang Xuan Luong suggested that the way to build a plan is not to "confine" the development. "In the planning, we should only build the target of total capacity, and the detailed structure should be arranged by localities accordingly."

Mr. Nguyen Trong Nghia, Research Center for Energy and Green Growth, said that it is necessary to make it clear whether green energy has not been developed recently due to capital sources or mechanisms and policies. Regarding energy security, it should be included in the policy on natural energy security such as wind, sea, sun, etc., with the priority order of development in the planning.

Mr. Mathias Hollander, Senior Manager of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) highly appreciates Vietnam's commitment to COP26. 

Effective, reasonable, "no excess, no shortage”

Concluding the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh thanked and highly appreciated the constructive and responsible comments from experts, scientists, and representatives from international organizations. 

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Power Plan VIII is a national sector planning taking a particularly important role, creating and ensuring orientations for sustainable and efficient development of Vietnam's electricity sector, ensuring energy security, is a premise to implement the country's development goals in the coming period. 

Therefore, Power Master Plan VIII shall be calculated in a scientific and thorough manner, taking into account all factors to ensure the goal of sufficient power supply for socio-economic development, ensuring national energy security; consistent with the advances of science and technology in the field of electric energy and the trend; implement Vietnam's strong commitments on environmental protection, and at the same time meet the requirements of balanced economic and social development among regions and localities. 

The Deputy Prime Minister affirmed that the Government and the Prime Minister are always very inquisitive, ready to listen to and absorb the constructive and responsible ideas of experts, scientists and international organizations. Since March 2021, MOIT has continuously updated, perfected, and submitted to the Prime Minister 3 versions of Power Planning VIII with very significant adjustments.

With the version of Power Plan VIII consulted on today, experts and scientists have agreed to determine the total capacity of the power source by 2030 to be at about 155,000 MW, a decrease of more than 28,000 MW compared to the plan submitted in March 2021, equivalent to a reduction of nearly VND 800,000 billion in investment. If solar power is not included, the national backup factor is reduced from over 69% to 43%, ensuring system safety.


The power source structure is more suitable, reducing fossil energy, increasing renewable energy, clean energy, especially there is an option in increasing wind power in the total structure. The experts also strongly agree that solar power should not be included in the total balance of the national power system due to the limited characteristics of time, and unstable characteristics, no stable storage solution of this energy. Therefore, the development of solar power will be encouraged to meet the requirements of self-sufficiency.

The Deputy Prime Minister also agreed with the opinion of experts and scientists that the draft Power Master Plan VIII has taken an important step in shaping mindset and solutions to arrange power sources suitable to the characteristics of each region and area; minimize investment in power lines and loss in transmission. Accordingly, more than 6,600 km of transmission lines have been reduced, equivalent to more than VND250,000 billion of investment.

The conference attracted the participation of many foreign organizations, by business associations, experts and scientists 

In the coming time, the Deputy Prime Minister asked MOIT to continue to organize conferences and seminars so as to collect comments and complete the draft Power Plan VIII.

In particular, it is required to closely follow the world’s situation in the sector to develop an appropriate roadmap to implement Vietnam's international commitments on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment; study mechanisms, policies and solutions for more efficient and rational use of solar energy sources, in which priority is given to the development of storage technologies; focus on developing industrial zones and clusters in the areas with great potential for solar energy; have appropriate mechanisms and policies to support the development of offshore wind power; the mechanism to mobilize capital sources to develop power sources. Also, more options shall be proposed and clarified to operate and ensure system safety.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh affirmed that Vietnam is determined to gradually perform transition to clean and renewable energy sources. In the formulation and approval of the master plan, the Government and the Prime Minister will ensure absolute transparency and objectivity for the sake of the common interests of the country and the people.

In the coming time, the Government will organize a conference with localities to agree on the arrangement of power projects suitable to the specific characteristics of each region, area and locality.

  • 21/11/2021 08:53
  • evn.com.vn
  • 106