09:05 | 18/09/2018 Energy
(VEN) - According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), coal-fired thermal power plants will continue playing an important role in ensuring national energy security. However, suitable technologies should be applied to enhance the efficiency of these plants and prevent them from polluting the environment.
Sixty percent of output
Dr. Truong Duy Nghia, President of the Vietnam Thermal Science and Technology Association, said following the termination of the project to build nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan Province, coal-fired thermal power plants will be a major source of electricity supply expected to account for 59-60 percent of national output.
Sharing this opinion, a representative of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, said that in the context of major hydropower resources becoming exhausted and increasing transmission costs, promoting electricity generation from coal is indispensable.
The Vietnam Energy Association predicted that southern localities would face electricity shortages from now until 2020. Specifically, they are forecast to lack about 2,000MW of electricity, equivalent to 10-15 percent of total demand.
Technology is the key
Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, former director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics, said that despite public concerns, generating electricity from coal is the most suitable option in the current context of the Vietnamese economy. In his opinion, appropriate mechanisms should be created to encourage investment in technology in order to minimize exhaust emissions from coal-fired thermal power plants.
A report prepared by the MoIT’s Industrial Safety Techniques and Environment Agency shows that Vietnam currently has 21 thermal power plants consuming about 45 million tonnes of coal and discarding more than 16 million tonnes of ash and gypsum annually. By 2020, an additional 12 coal-fired thermal power plants will be put into operation with total installed capacity of 24,370MW, using about 60 million tonnes of coal per year. Total amount of fly ash emissions and coal residues discarded by thermal power plants are predicted to reach about 22.6 million tonnes per year. Therefore, along with developing power generation from coal, Vietnam will have to cope with environmental protection challenges.
Energy specialists believe advanced technologies will enable thermal power plants to minimize environmental pollution by treating coal properly before use. Dr. Truong Duy Nghia believes the treatment of harmful wastes from coal-fired thermal power plants will not have an adverse impact on the environment. Therefore, in his opinion, these plants need to maintain regular surveillance in order to assess the results of waste treatment.
Suitable state policies and mechanisms are needed to enable coal-fired thermal power plants to take the initiative in
dealing with environmental problems in order to promote their sustainable development.