Prime Minister urges national solar power development plan
Updated at Monday, 21 May 2018, 08:05
The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) must finalize the national solar power development master plan and report it to the Prime Minister before July 15 this year.
At a direction made by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently, MoIT will also have to report to the Prime Minister new solar energy projects that were added to the amended National Master Power Plan VII, effective March 18, 2016.
Before the completion of the national solar power development master plan, MoIT will be authorized to consider and add projects, whose appraisals were finalized and submitted to the Prime Minister for approval, such as the 250MW BIM2 project in the Ninh Thuan Province and the 330MW Phu My project in Binh Dinh province.
MoIT has approved 70 solar power projects
MoIT must take the entire responsibility on the appraisal, especially the need to add the projects to the amended National Master Power Plan VII.
According to the MoIT’s report, the total output of the solar power projects approved to be added to the Plan VII is quite large. Of which, MoIT alone approved more than 70 projects, which will be put into operation before June 20119 with a total capacity of over 3,000MW. This amount has far exceeded the estimated solar power output until 2020 in the Plan VII.
Earlier, the government approved a MoIT’s proposal to revise the National Master Power Plan VII. Under the proposal, MoIT said that the government should add more solar power projects to the plan as it is difficult to develop thermal and coal power projects in the country.
Besides, it said, the development of renewable power sources is suitable to the global trend as well as to Vietnam’s renewable power development strategy until 2030 with vision to 2050 approved by the Prime Minister.
The financial and business information corporation Stoxplus quoted data from the Vietnam Renewable Energy Report 2018 as saying that an average of nine projects in power generation and distribution were registered every month since June 2017.
The registration of projects followed the government’s approval of the price of 9.35 US cents per kilo-watt hour Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for solar projects.
According to Stoxplus, foreign and local investors are excited about renewable energy in Vietnam, which is expected to grow at 23.2 percent annually during 2020-2030.
StoxPlus has identified 245 renewable energy projects in Vietnam at the moment, including wind and solar power as well as biomass electricity, which are being deployed at different stages.
If all these projects begin operation, the total capacity of the country’s renewable energy should reach 23.2GW, which is nearly 10 times higher than the target of 2.65GW by 2020 as indicated in the Revised National Master Power Plan VII.
However, of the total projects, only 19 percent have reached the construction stage and 8 percent have begun operation. Most projects are still in the preparation phase.
Vu My Dung, senior analyst at Stoxplus, said the lack of comprehensive information was the first challenge for investors and developers to maneuver renewable energy opportunities. Even though information about renewable energy projects in Vietnam has been floating around the market, there is no clear information on the number of projects or development status, creating confusion and uncertainty among investors, developers and other stakeholders, Dung said.
Moreover, although many projects were announced, their progress has been slow due to challenges in the operational phase, such as credibility of the power purchase agreement and lack of credit rating of Vietnam Electricity, besides other operational risks.
To address the bottlenecks and facilitate the completion of projects before June 2019, Dung suggests the model of domestic-foreign joint venture.