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Jun 18, 2020 / 16:57

Vietnam gov’t seeks to nearly triple wind power capacity to 12,000MW

Provincial authorities are responsible for choosing investors and implementing the newly added projects.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to add more wind power projects into the national electricity plan to raise the combined wind power capacity 11,630MW by 2025 as per a proposal by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

 Provincial authorities are responsible for choosing investors and implementing newly added wind power projects. Photo: The Blue Circle.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade estimates that the demand of wind power in the optimistic scenario is 11,630MW, accounting for up to 20% of the country's energy mix. That means in addition to the 4,800MW already included in the national plan, approximately 7,000MW will be added.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh also said at the National Assembly plenary session on June 15 that provincial authorities are responsible for choosing investors and implementing the newly added projects. 

Construction of many large-scale coal-fired power plants is lagging schedule and could fail to start generating power by 2023, exposing the country to the risk of power shortage, especially for the 2024-2025 period.

According to Ha Dang Son, director of the Center for Energy and Green Growth Research under the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, the capacity of nearly 12,000MW is huge, requiring enormous investment in building corresponding transmission grid in the context that the industry has not been fully privatized.

In many countries, renewable energy projects are built to serve on-site needs. However, areas in Vietnam with natural conditions and acreage suitable for solar and wind power have little demand of electricity, he told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper. 

Ironically, localities with large demand of electricity are not suitable for building renewable energy projects. This leads to overload on the grid. Without proper planning, wind power projects would not be in full swing, Son warned.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), also noted that relevant authorities need to conduct an overall assessment of the status of the power source and the level of allocation when approving the projects.

Based on Fitch Solutions’ Key Projects Database, wind power plants under construction in Vietnam has a total potential of 900MW, and it is estimated that approximately another 13GW of plants are in the pipeline.

Fitch Solutions forecast the wind industry to grow from an estimated 375MW at end-2019 to over 2.5GW by 2029.