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Mar 27, 2022 / 05:13

Vietnam urged to update smart grid for network reliability

Increasing electricity demand required by the fast-growing economy forces Vietnam to be hurried in upgrading smart grid indexes.

Vietnam should take measures on eight Smart Grid indexes (SGIs) in updating its roadmap to ensure the sustainability of the country’s electricity grid network.

 Smart grid becomes essential for Vietnam's growing share of renewable energy and increasing power demand. Photos: GIZ 

The indicators are green energy, energy market, supply reliability, data analytics, monitoring and control, customer satisfaction, cybersecurity, and integration of distributed energy resources.  

Those recommendations were presented by both Vietnamese and German experts who joined a series of conferences on the topic co-hosted by the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Addressing the latest event held earlier this month, Markus Bissel, Director of GIZ’s Smart Grids for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SGREEE) Project, said “The adjustment will therefore improve the performance of the country’s power sector, reduce the need for investment into the networks and encourage a more efficient integration of renewable energy sources.”

Duong Manh Cuong, Senior Project Officer of the SGREEE project, said among the recommendations, it is needed to extend the applications of distribution management systems (DMS) and advanced distribution management systems (ADMS) to include applications for switching schedules, safety management and load shedding, as well as to promote potential cooperation of transmission system operators (TSO) and distribution system operators (DSO) for congestion management, voltage support, balancing and ancillary services.

In addition, Cuong said that the Smart Meter roll-out with critical functions should be speed-up to create a solid foundation for the deployment of other programs, such as Demand Response, Data Analysis-Based monitoring, scheduling and controlling.

Meanwhile, a group of local experts from BK-Contech company identified current and future challenges facing the Vietnamese electricity system in their comprehensive research on assessing Vietnam’s Smart Grid development. Based on that, international experts presented SGIs-based evaluating the result of Vietnam’s Smart Grid development progress with benchmarking of best practices from South Korea, Japan, Australia, the US and the UK, using dedicated evaluation tool, before they put forward practical recommendations to Vietnam.

 Smart grid index in Vietnam and some countries.

Role of smart grid  

In 2012, the Government of Vietnam approved a strategy on developing Smart Grid to upgrade the national power transmission system in the context of rapidly increasing electricity demand required by the fast-growing economy.

The smart grid is proved to be necessary amid the increasing share of renewable energy, especially solar energy. In addition, the transition of the power sector, however, is challenging the grid management, causing supply-demand risks, despite the government’s constant investment in power generation and grid infrastructure. 

The Smart Grid roadmap, therefore, sets a general target for Smart Grid to improve system reliability through demand-side management and energy efficiency measures. The plan, however, needs to be updated as Vietnam has witnessed a significant increase on renewable energy and a number of policy changes. 

In this regard, the SGREEE Project, which is jointly implemented by ERAV of the MOIT and GIZ with funding by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), was launched in 2017 to support the Vietnamese Government.

Since then, in-depth analyses, detailed assessments, and concrete proposals to the revision of Vietnam’s Smart Grid Roadmap have been introduced and contributed by different stakeholders, including representatives of government agencies, the Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the National Load Dispatch Center, power companies, research institutes, universities, international organizations, and private companies. 

Stakeholders are able to share concepts, solutions, experience, development progress and official documents related to smart grid applications in the country, and get expertise from international experts through forums available the “Smart Grid Vietnam Knowledge Hub” and the “Smart Grid Vietnam Network.   

 Upgraded smart grid ensures reliability.