Power sector drives towards sustainable development

15:20 | 25/01/2017 Energy

(VEN) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been developing the competitive electricity market in accordance with the roadmap, improving transparency and strictly controlling in thermal power plants to ensure the power sector’s sustainable development.  

Drastic implementation

Vietnam’s electricity production reached an estimated 183.2 billion kWh in 2016, an increase of 660 million kWh compared to the approved plan. Total commercial power output increased by around 11 percent to 159.3 billion kWh compared to 2015. Thanks to great efforts, the Vietnamese power system ranked 31st in the world and second in ASEAN.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said that, together with the contributions of power companies in and outside the industry and trade sector, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) fulfilled its tasks in providing power for production and daily life and ensuring national energy security in 2016. The power sector maintained stable price throughout the year, while services continued to be improved, contributing to ensuring macroeconomic stability and social security.

To achieve such results, in addition to greater efforts of the power sector, it was necessary to mention to the role of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the direction, management and supervision.

On the basis of reviewing and assessing the implementation of the Vietnam National Power Development Planning during the 2011-2020 period with an outlook to 2030, the Ministry of Industry and Trade in coordination with the relevant authorities built and submitted the adjustments to the Vietnam National Power Development Planning to the government for approval, set up the Draft Vietnam National Energy Development Strategy to 2025 with a vision to 2035, issued legal documents as a basis for attracting investment in the development of renewable energy, deployed the competitive power wholesale market in accordance with the roadmap and adjusted operations of 38 hydroelectric reservoirs.

Following the guidelines of the 13th National Assembly, in addition to strengthening management of the construction planning, investment, operation and exploitation of hydropower plants, the Ministry of Industry and Trade terminated eight terraced hydropower stations and 463 small hydroelectricity plants, and decided not to consider 213 other potential positions for hydro-electricity development.

As for hydropower projects under construction or operation, if investors do not fully implement the commitments on alternative forest plantation and payments for forest environmental services, these projects will be stopped from deployment or withdrawn of licenses.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also cooperated with local departments to strengthen inspection and control of the observance of the laws in hydropower plants in the country, and handle violations in management and operations of hydropower plants.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh issued Directive 11/CT-BCT on strengthening environmental protection in the industry and trade sector, which requires localities, the authorities, and the EVN to review and offer a comprehensive assessment of risks to the environment, while closely monitoring power projects under construction or operation. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade provided measures to minimize negative impacts on the environment through directing investors to regularly check emission levels, further improve automatic monitoring systems and promote the manufacturing of adobe bricks from waste slag.

Completing mechanisms and policies

According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong, to meet socioeconomic development needs, the Ministry of Industry and Trade built and submitted the adjustments the Vietnam National Power Development Planning to the government for approval with power load growth of around 10.6 percent by 2020, about 8.5 percent by 2025 and 7.5 percent by 2030.

The Vietnamese power system must reach over 63,000MW by 2020, 87,000MW by 2025 and 120,000MW by 2030. These are difficult tasks because of insufficient supply of hydropower generation, high investment costs of renewable energy, halted nuclear power projects and gas resources exhaustion.

As a member of the government responsible for managing and ensuring national energy security, the Ministry of Industry and Trade needs to continue perfecting mechanisms and policies for the power sector and developing the competitive electricity market on a timely basis. The ministry will direct the EVN, the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group and Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Ltd to strengthen investment in power projects, with a priority given to renewable energy.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade resolutely refuses to invest in thermal power projects being likely to cause environmental pollution, while promoting technology innovation to reduce emissions to the environment, installing automatic monitoring systems connected to the local appropriate authorities as prescribed, and building the legal frameworks in technology and environment for coal-fired power plants, especially in addressing the issue of coal ash.

With the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s determination, the goal of driving the power sector towards sustainable development

will surely come true.

Vu Son