Transferring technology know-how to solar power investors

Mr. Paul English, Director of Power Conversion Division of GE Power in Asia region said that GE was actively stepping ahead of the wave of investment in solar power (SP) and ready to provide the main solution package for Vietnamese solar energy investors.

Mr. Paul English

Reporter: The Prime Minister has created favourable conditions for investors by determining the purchasing price of solar power at 9.35 UScent/kWh. In your opinion, will there be a “wave” of investment in solar power in Viet Nam?

Mr. Paul English: Viet Nam is one of the countries with the largest amount of radiation in the world solar radiation map. Viet Nam also has a developed infrastructure of power network. However, the low purchase price of electricity which has not created favourable conditions for investors is a barrier to developing this renewable energy source in Viet Nam.

The issuance of purchase price for solar power by the Vietnamese Government has officially removed the bottleneck for the power trading market in Viet Nam. Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg is essential, contributing to promoting the development of solar power, meeting the rapidly growing energy demand in Viet Nam. 

With the application of technology and strategic changes, satisfying the increasing demands of customers on output, stability of power source as well as clean energy sources, ensuring the environmental sustainability, investors and providers of Solar energy equipment are ready to seize the opportunity in a boom solar energy market that I believe that has not shown any sign of cooling down in the coming time.

Reporter: In accordance with the Prime Minister's Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg, solar power plants shall complete construction and grid connection by June 2019 to enjoy the price of 9.35 UScent/kWh. So, how does equipment and technology affect the feasibility of solar power projects in your opinion?

Mr. Paul English: The technology used in grid-connected solar power projects has made leaps in recent years. That is improving performance of material and photovoltaic cells of solar panels, increasing productivity, performance and voltage rating of inverter, optimizing the energy balance components and more stably connecting to grid. 

These improvements make a great effect on investment capital and operation management cost throughout the project life cycle. This cost has decreased by 85% in the period of 2009 - 2016 thanks to technological advances.

Reporter: How has GE's technology smoothly supported the process of evaluating and approving solar power projects, Sir?

Mr. Paul English: GE is the first unit to provide 1.5kV technology based on the experience of providing inverters with a total installed capacity of over 4MW worldwide. This technology helps the solar power plants have a simpler design, more efficient operation and reduce the necessary investment in infrastructure. Compared to 1kV technology, GE’s inverter can reduce the system cost by 3% and save 15% of operating costs, thus making the solar power project more competitive and profitable.

GE has invested in many renewable energy projects globally with an installed capacity of 10GW. GE’s Energy Financial Services Division allows the company to take a role as an investor when taking ownership of the project as a small shareholder. 

This dual business model not only ensures that customers take control of the project but also access GE's financial capacity to increase the ability of bank loans for the project. This means that solar energy projects will be implemented more, creating opportunities for partners and investors to access GE’s technical knowledge during the project implementation phases. 

This is an advantage for GE’s partners, as we determine that our development strategy is to be a leading unit in the industrial revolution 4.0 and the IoT trend.

Reporter: Owning a product portfolio with a variety of solar energy solutions and equipment in many countries around the world, what are commitments of GE to contribute to promote the development of Viet Nam's solar Power market, Sir?

Mr. Paul English: In many aspects, we realize that this is a ripe time to solidify GE's position in Viet Nam. With the current development trend, the Solar energy sector promises a bright prospect, investors will benefit when GE actively participates in installation projects, application of hardware and software solutions in the field of Solar Power.

GE has actively established partnerships with domestic construction engineers, experts and contractors, and will transfer technological know-how and financial capacity to the region at the same time. 

GE’s technology transfer initiative is a solar energy solution package including many important technologies such as solar panels, 1.5kV inverter, substation, battery storage system and advanced digital software, etc. This energy package is set up to improve the performance of solar power projects not only in terms of hardware specifications but also being digitized with the ability to monitor the entire system.

An important difference of this energy package is that GE will integrate all the key technologies mentioned in the previous section into an optimized system. As a result, customers can operate the system in a less complicated, less risky manner, as well as increase the reliability and availability of the system. 

Reporter: Thank you! 

  • 05/02/2019 04:07