Vietnam prioritises renewable energy development: Deputy Minister

Tuesday, 2019-03-12 16:44:19
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By 2030, Vietnam sets to generate roughly 20,000MW of wind power. (Photo: NDO/Trong Duy)
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NDO – One of Vietnam's top energy priorities is to promote renewable energy to gradually reduce its reliance on traditional forms of electricity generation in order to protect the environment, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung has said.

Hung was speaking at an international conference themed “Vietnam: Towards a Low Carbon Energy Future Conference”, co-hosted by the British Embassy in Vietnam and Vietnam Energy Association (VEA) in Hanoi on March 12.

According to Hung, projections indicate that, by 2030, Vietnam's economy will continue to grow at a high level from 6.5-7.5% per year and, as such, high priority must be given to ensuring the energy demand for national development in a sustainable way.

The renewable energy development strategy for the 2015-2030 period, taking into account 2050, approved by the Government of Vietnam in September 2015, set specific targets, in which the amount of power produced from renewable energy sources will increase from 58 billion kWh in 2015 to 101 billion kWh by 2020, 186 billion kWh by 2030 and 452 billion kWh by 2050.

In order to encourage the development of renewable energy, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has developed and submitted to the Government to issue a series of mechanisms for solar power, wind power, electricity produced from solid waste and biomass power. Vietnam has also promulgated preferential policies for investors such as providing credit priority, tax exemption and reduction and land rent to encourage them to invest in this sector.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung speaks at the workshop. (Photo: NDO/Dieu Ha)

As a result, by the end of 2018, the country had put into operation 285 small hydropower, eight wind power, and 10 biomass power plants, with combined capacity of each category reaching 3,322MW, 243W and 212MW respectively.

However, according to Hung, rapid development of renewable energy sources is also facing shortcomings and challenges, including high investment costs, limited capacity of the power grid infrastructure for renewable energy, huge land use and difficulties in the control and regulation of electricity systems.

At the conference, a delegation of 30 UK companies in the renewable energy and green finance sector shared the UK’s approach to policy and regulatory development and expertise with their Vietnamese partners in low carbon energy, from research and innovation to cost reduction and technologies.

British Ambassador to Vietnam, Gareth Ward affirmed that the UK would work closely with Vietnam to support the country in the process of shifting away from fossil fuels and increasing the share of renewables in the future.