Jun 07, 2018 / 08:09

Investors in solar energy projects race to enjoy high feed-in tariff

The Hanoitimes - After rushing to the solar energy industry, investors are also racing against time to have their projects reaching commercial operation dates (COD) before June 30, 2019 to be able to enjoy a feed-in tariff (FiT) of 9.35 US cents per kWh.

With the high price, if meeting the deadline, solar power projects will make significant profits as the power retail price currently averages at only VND1,720.65 per kWh (7.54 US cents).
Vietnam’s renewable energy will grow at 23.2 percent annually in 2020-2030
Vietnam’s renewable energy will grow at 23.2 percent annually in 2020-2030
Investment in the country’s solar power industry has boomed following the government’s approval of the FiT of 9.35 US cents per kWh for solar projects last year.
The financial and business information corporation Stoxplus said that 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 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. There are 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.
Development master plan
To better manage the solar power industry, the government has recently also required the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to finalize the national solar power development master plan and report it to the Prime Minister before July 15 this year.
The 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, the MoIT will be authorized to consider and add projects, whose appraisals were finalized and submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
The 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, the MoIT alone approved more than 70 projects, which will be put into operation before June 2019 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 an MoIT proposal to revise the National Master Power Plan VII. Under the proposal, the 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.
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.
To address the bottlenecks and facilitate the completion of projects before June 2019, Dung suggests the model of domestic-foreign joint venture.