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Dec 15, 2020 / 00:08

US backs Vietnam’s rooftop solar strategy

Rooftop solar is among components in the USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security project worth US$14 million for 2019-2023.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Vietnam Electricity (EVN) has inked an agreement to help the Vietnamese sole power distributor increase capacity of rooftop solar energy that has been designated as an emerging segment in the country's power mix.

 USAID, EVN sign MoU on December 14. Photo: US Embassy Hanoi

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on December 14, USAID will help EVN evaluate rooftop solar systems in its electricity distribution network and build the distributor’s capacity to mitigate adverse impacts to the grid.

In addition, EVN will receive support designing and implementing innovative communication campaigns to promote solar rooftop system investment and installation, according to the US Embassy in Hanoi.

The support will enable EVN to conduct utility financial impact analyses of various rooftop solar deployment scenarios in Danang city.

As a result, policymakers and utility operators will be informed about short-term impacts in the early phases of their rooftop solar programs.

“USAID is helping Vietnam transition to a more resilient energy sector, powered by renewable energy. We are excited to work with EVN and hope our extensive experience promoting clean energy in the region, access to technical expertise, and global convening power will help Vietnam realize its goals in renewable energy,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock.

Over the past five years, USAID has committed over US$40 million to support the energy sector in Vietnam and plans to commit an additional US$36 million over the next five years.

In November 2019, USAID announced a new project promoting urban energy security in Vietnam (USAID Vietnam Urban Energy Security), which is a four-year (2019-2023) project worth US$14 million promoting deployment of advanced and distributed energy solutions, including household rooftop solar, in select urban areas.

As of September 2020, Vietnam is home to some 50,000 operational rooftop solar projects with a combined capacity of about 1,200 megawatts peak (MWp), according to EVN.

Under the prime minister’s Decision 13/2020/QD-TTg dated April 6, 2020, the buying prices (by EVN) of rooftop solar power is 8.38 US cent/kWh imposed for projects operated before December 31, 2020. The rate will be applied for 20 years.