Investment policies needed to boost solar, wind power

09:42 | 11/09/2018 Energy

(VEN) - Given Vietnam’s great renewable energy potential, the country could overcome its future power shortages if it creates suitable mechanisms to encourage relevant investment, especially since wind and solar plants can be built quickly.

investment policies needed to boost solar wind power
A specific roadmap should be created to develop renewable energy in the long term

In the context of traditional energy resources deteriorating due to limited reserves and growing consumer demand, increasing investment in renewable energy resources is one of the best solutions. Vietnam Energy Association Vice President Nguyen Van Vy believes its abundant natural resources offer Vietnam great potential to develop renewable energy. Specifically, the country has the potential to develop about 30GW of wind power on the mainland and 100GW offshore. Solar panels can be installed in different areas, such as along the coastline, along lakes, in plains, on mountains, and on roofs. Each hectare of solar panels can generate an estimated average 1MW of electricity.

Advanced technologies have helped reduce the cost of renewable energy development in other countries. In Vietnam, the cost of generating each MW of wind power has decreased from about US$3.5 million prior to 2010 to US$2-2.5 million in the 2015-2016 period. Meanwhile, the cost of each solar panel has also decreased from US$3-4 per Watt-peak (Wp) five years ago to US$0.5 per Wp.

Under Prime Ministerial Decision 11/2017/QD-TTg pertaining to mechanisms to encourage the development of solar power, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Group is responsible for purchasing all electricity generated by such projects that are connected with the national grid at a price of 9.35 cents per kWh. This has encouraged investors to register solar power projects with total capacity of nearly 20,000MW.

Speaking with Vietnam Economic News reporters, Nguyen Van Vy highlighted the necessity of creating suitable mechanisms to promote renewable energy projects. It takes just one year to complete the entire process of preparing and putting a solar power project into operation, if it is approved quickly, he said. In the opinion of Associate Professor, Dr. Ta Cao Minh, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Automation

Association, to develop renewable energy, implementation of state policies and administrative reforms must be accelerated to facilitate investor access to renewable energy projects. He said that a specific roadmap should be created to develop renewable energy in the long term, and that it is necessary to indicate the roles of the state, businesses and investors; create mechanisms to support renewable energy production and sales; and train human resources for renewable energy development.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has submitted the National Energy Development Plan for the 2016-2025 period,

with a vision towards 2035, to the prime minister for approval. Under the plan, the percentage of renewable energy in

total primary energy supply will be maintained at above 30 percent.

Quynh Nga