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Tuesday,  Oct 17,2017,20:15 (GMT+7)

Vietnam should develop renewable energy to lessen import dependence

Lan Nhi
Friday,  Oct 6,2017,18:00 (GMT+7)
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Vietnam should develop renewable energy to lessen import dependence

Lan Nhi

HANOI – Vietnam officially turned from a net exporter of energy into an importer in 2015 with buying 3% of energy demand from outside sources, said Nguyen Van Vy from the Vietnam Energy Association.

Speaking at a seminar on small hydropower project and renewable energy development in Hanoi yesterday, Vy said the imported energy as a percentage of  domestic demand is forecast to increase to 24% or even 44% in 2030 if renewable energy projects are not developed.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong noted that the potential of hydropower as a primary source of renewable energy has been nearly fully tapped.

The sector targets to reach a total hydropower capacity of 21,600 MW by 2020, 24,600 MW by 2025 and 27,800 MW by 2030. However, most of rivers and streams have currently been exploited to build 824 hydropower plants with a combined capacity of 24,778 MW, meeting 95.3% of the 2030 plan. Of which, nearly 18,000 MW of hydropower electricity has been generated while 165 projects with a total capacity of 3,350 MW are under construction, equivalent to 13.51% of total planned capacity.

The energy sector does not encourage thermal power projects causing environmental pollution. Therefore, there should be careful preparations for renewable energy development.

The Prime Minister has approved the National Electricity Development Plan for the 2011-2020 period with a vision towards 2030 focusing on renewable energy development. The sector targets to increase the contribution of renewable energy - excluding hydropower plants - to the national grid to 7% in 2020 and 10% in 2030.

The sector will also offer attractive prices to support projects using wind, solar, biomass and geothermal power, and preferential tax and investment policies.

The output of wind power is expected to increase to 800 MW by 2020 from the current 180 MW. The selling price will be guaranteed at 7.8 U.S. cents per kWh including 1 U.S. cent supported by the Government through the environmental protection fund.

As for solar energy, the installed capacity should reach 850 MW by 2020, 4,000 MW by 2025 and 12,000 MW by 2030. Solar power will be bought at 9.35 U.S. cents per kWh under a 20-year contract together with other preferential policies.

Despite such a strong support, investment in renewable energy projects has been limited.

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