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Sep 02, 2019 / 16:23

Rooftop solar power gains popularity in Vietnam

Rooftop solar power is part of efforts to help Vietnam ensure its renewables future.

Rooftop solar power capacity in Vietnam is likely to reach roughly 2,000 MW by the end of 2020, local media reported, citing Vietnam Electricity (EVN) as the country is encouraging this type of power.
Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo

EVN Deputy General Director Vo Quang Lam said at Vietnam Energy Forum 2019 that developing rooftop solar power helps reduce transmission costs and price pressure as well as increase energy efficiency.

Vietnam currently applies a price of US$9.35 cents per kWh for rooftop solar power. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed maintaining the price until 2021 to encourage the development of solar power.

Technical solutions have also been introduced to connect rooftop systems to the national grid.

In addition to providing favorable conditions in terms of policies and mechanism, technical solutions have been also implemented to connect solar power to the national grid.

Renewable energy experts said the country’s central and southern regions have big potential to develop for rooftop solar systems with solar radiation of 4.2 to 4.8 kWh per sq.m per day.

They added that with supportive policies, the goal of installing 100,000 rooftop solar systems by the end of 2025 would be reachable.

According to a report on the technical assessment of the potential of rooftop solar energy in Vietnam released by the World Bank in 2017, solar energy capacity in Ho Chi Minh City is about 6,300 MW.

Tran Hong Ky, an energy researcher at the World Bank, said that about 30% of the roofs in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang are capable of installing rooftop solar energy systems effectively.

Nguy Thi Khanh, director of GreenID, the co-ordinator of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, said that a greenhouse program is underway to encourage the installation of solar system on houses’ roofs.

She stated that solar power technology is reliable and cheaper than fossil fuel, and is better for both the environment and human health.

To promote rooftop solar power, EVN, the country’s sole power distributor, has announced to buy rooftop solar power from its customers in case they don’t use up the volume their solar panels produce.

Local experts said that the installation of rooftop solar panels would enable owners to reduce electricity bills, ease the national power supply, protect environment, and boost climate resilience. 

EVN would conduct examination and connect to the grid for rooftop solar panel systems. 

Since 2017, EVN has launched a series of projects on installing rooftop solar panel systems. As of July 2018, more than 748 projects with total capacity of 11.55 MWp would become operational, saving millions of dollar.

Localities having great potential of solar power include the central provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, and the southern provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Long An, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Ninh Thuan has average solar irradiance (the power per unit area: watt per square meter – W/m2) of 1,800 kWh/m2/year, according to Meteonorm – a widely used and accepted solar radiation data source in the solar energy industry.