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Sep 23, 2020 / 12:45

Denmark, World Bank nurture Vietnam’s fledgling offshore wind energy

Vietnam’s offshore wind power is of great potential thanks to the country’s long coastline and political will in the face of the increasing demand for energy.

The Danish Energy Agency and the World Bank Group are presenting at an ongoing conference their studies and recommendations on the development of offshore wind power, a new sector for the energy thirst of Vietnam.

The two-day conference on "A roadmap for offshore wind development in Vietnam" starting on September 22 is ahead of the release of the Power Development Plan VIII (PDP8) for the power sector development in Vietnam in 2021-2030 and vision to 2045.

The international conference under both off-line in Hanoi and online through a video link between Hanoi, Copenhagen, and other locations in the world has drawn the participation of Vietnamese decision-makers and sector managers, international and local professionals in the offshore wind industry and supply chain, and the private sector.

At the event, consultants presented their studies on aspects namely assessment of potential and grid transmission capacity; current local supply chain capacity; opportunities and challenges in offshore development; policy and management experience from countries with advanced offshore industry as well as recommendations for a roadmap to offshore wind power development.

The studies will be taken into consideration for the submission to the government of Vietnam in the near future, being important input for shaping the policy targets in the national PDP8, the most important policy guiding Vietnam’s development in the energy sector in the next 10 years.

Significance of foreign support

  Hoang Tien Dung, Director General of Electricity and Renewable Energy Agency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) at the conference. Photo: The Embassy of Denmark in Hanoi

“The government of Vietnam is always committed to the development of a sustainable energy sector and the timing now is very critical with our national Power Development Plan 8 preparation by the Ministry of Trade and Industry being underway. We, therefore, highly appreciate advice and recommendations from Denmark and the World Bank, our long term partners who have possessed many years of experience and knowledge in renewable energy ahead of us,” according to Hoang Tien Dung, director general of Electricity and Renewable Energy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).

As Vietnam is keen on moving towards a green transition of its energy sector, offshore wind power will definitely be one of the most cost effective options as proven in many countries, including Denmark. A developed offshore wind industry will not only provide a new source of clean energy and contribute to climate change mitigation but also create a significant number of new jobs for the local people while creating a new maritime economy and attracting significant new investments, said Kim Højlund Christensen, ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam.

Director at the Danish Energy Agency, Anton Beck, said “Offshore wind turbines represent the most potent renewable energy technology with just one 8 megawatt turbine being able to power annual electricity consumption corresponding to more than 43,000 Vietnamese households. We are happy to be able to share our vast Danish experience with offshore wind power with our close Vietnamese partners. Pressing ‘play’ has been underway for some time, and our Vietnamese partners are both eager to get going and determined to get it right”.

 Rahul Kitchlu, Program Leader for Infrastructure and Energy Sector Coordinator, World Bank. Photo: The Embassy of Denmark in Hanoi

Meanwhile, Rahul Kitchlu, Program Leader for Infrastructure and Energy Sector Coordinator, World Bank, said the World Bank studies show important economic benefits of deploying offshore wind at the scale of up to 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, which can render between 190-700 thousand full time years of employment. It will be important to take these considerations onboard during the development of PDP8 is navigating towards.

Vietnam’s wind power potential

Vietnam has favorable conditions to create an offshore wind industry with an estimated potential of 160 GW offshore wind power within the distance of between 5km and 100km to shore.

Long coastline, ample wind resources, and political will are key parameters to creating a green and forward-looking industry that can supply huge amounts of green electricity at attractive prices while creating new jobs and attracting investments.

Studies carried out by the Danish Energy Agency and the World Bank, also recommend that 10 gigawatt offshore wind power could be in operation in Vietnam already by 2030.

Vietnam-Denmark energy partnership

In 2013, Vietnam and Denmark entered a long-term cooperation agreement to promote a transition in Vietnam to a low-carbon economy. It is financed by the Danish government and administered by the Danish Energy Agency.

The Danish Energy Agency cooperates with the MOIT in Vietnam through the joint Energy Partnership Program (DEPP) that is currently in its second phase running from 2017 to 2020 and covers energy efficiency in the industrial sector, integration of renewable energy into the power grid and long-term scenario modeling of the energy sector.

The next phase DEPP III will be a five-year program starting from November 2020 focusing on offshore wind with details are economic incentive schemes for energy efficiency improvements in the industrial sector in Vietnam.