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Dec 01, 2021 / 22:31

Wind power to lead Vietnam’s pathway to net-zero target: international experts

A phase of rapid wind power growth is expected to meet the country’s increasing electricity demand, ensure energy security, and deliver socio-economic benefits in pursuit of a renewables-led pathway.

Wind energy is expected to lead the way toward a net-zero future that Vietnam targets to achieve by 2050.

 Vietnam Wind Power Conference opens in Hanoi on Dec 1. Photo: Minh Vu

With fundamental changes in the Power Development Plan VIII (PDP8) that gives renewable energy a significant part, the wind industry will be the leading renewable technology to play a significant role in Vietnam’s energy system leading up to 2030, according to the news reported at the 2021 Vietnam Wind Power Conference (VWP) opened in Hanoi on December 1.

Vietnam has some of the richest wind resources and coupled with increasing government confidence in renewable energy. It has the potential to be the leader in the green transition in Southeast Asia with greater ambition, experts said at the two-day VWP, the official wind industry event in Vietnam since 2018, organized by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Informa Markets.

The hybrid conference, which is supported by the British Embassy, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of Germany, Germany Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi and its Commercial Section – Innovation Norway, was joined by Vietnam’s leading policymakers, wind industry leaders, investors and other key stakeholders locally and internationally.

At the event, experts said Vietnam, with world-class wind resource potential and rapidly growing power demand, is poised to be South East Asia’s offshore wind leader over the next decade.

Under the current renewable energy development pipeline, a total of 84 onshore wind power projects with a total capacity of 3.89 GW has reached a commercial operation date (COD) by October 31, 2021.

The latest PDP8 draft revision in November – which was issued after Vietnam’s net zero pledge at COP26 - demonstrated the Vietnamese government’s increasing confidence in wind energy as a drastic increase in 2030 energy targets was being proposed for both onshore wind (+5 GW) and offshore wind (+2 GW).

Liming Qiao, Head of Asia at Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said: “Vietnam has finally reached its 4 GW wind installation milestone. The wind sector is expected to grow even more aggressively in the next decade with the increasing global emphasis on green transition and coal phase-out.”

To help maintain the development momentum, Liming Qiao stressed the importance of pushing for more aggressive targets and finding solutions to address the bottle-necks that are preventing the wind energy sector from reaching its potential.

Tee Boon Teong, General Manager at Informa Market Vietnam, said: “Offshore wind opportunities abound in Vietnam and I hope the Vietnamese government will quickly capitalize on the COP26 momentum to accelerate renewable energy adoption, offshore wind in particular.

In this regard, it’s necessary to transition off fossil fuel as quickly as technology and economics permit, he noted.

 Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Grete Lochen speaks at the conference. Photo: Embassy of Norway in Hanoi

Taking an example of Vietnam’s preparations and efforts for the energy transition roadmap, Ambassador of Norway to Vietnam Grete Lochen said there’s no time to waste and it’s time to take action for the energy transition towards sustainable growth. Norway, several decades ago was like Vietnam now, and its efforts in shifting to green energy really help. Vietnam and Norway share similarities in geography which both are littoral countries and have great potential for wind energy development.  

She believed that key stakeholders such as government agencies, businesses, investors and developers, the diplomatic community, and international organizations will address both business opportunities and challenges in the energy in Vietnam.

With long-established strong ocean industries, Norwegian companies that are possessing world-class capabilities can provide technologies that largely support Vietnam’s energy transformation, saying that transformation into renewable energy/offshore wind is realistic and within reach in Vietnam.

Sharing about the VWP, she said “The conference will hopefully contribute to accelerating the much-needed energy transformation in order ensure sustainable economic growth. A multi-stakeholder approach is key and will give input to policymakers of predictable and more effective policy solutions.” 

Stressing the role of energy in the economy, Kim Højlund Christensen, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, said for an emerging economy like Vietnam securing sufficient energy for economic growth is non-negotiable. At the same time, tackling climate change is also non-negotiable.

“A transition of the energy system from being based to a large extend on fossil fuels into a system with a more diverse mix with an increasing share of renewable energy will be a solution to this challenge,” he stated.

Giving another point to Vietnam’s wind energy industry, Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam, said highlighted the role of renewables in realizing Vietnam’s commitment at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference to net zero by 2050.

Moreover, “Vietnam’s immense potential in renewable energy offers an obvious solution to addressing domestic energy demands, set to grow considerably in the coming decades, whilst also curbing emissions in pursuit of net zero.”

In addition, Vietnam’s own climate vulnerability underlines the need for meaningful investment in renewable energy, clean infrastructure, and environmental protection, he stated.

Regarding the VWP, Sebastian Paust, First Counsellor and Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Germany in Vietnam, said the event offers a platform for all key stakeholders in the industry to look forward to further challenges and opportunities in the upcoming years. They help address questions on how to keep the onshore wind momentum up, to kick off the implementation of real offshore wind projects, to take actions for the smooth global supply chain for wind power, and to define the role of wind power in Vietnam’s race to net zero by 2050.

The event is the perfect platform for key stakeholders to ride on the momentum and discuss all the most updated and exclusive insights on wind policies, strategy, and actions needed to empower Vietnam’s transition to a greener economy through its net zero pathway in the next decade. 

 Participants at the event. Photo: Embassy of Norway in Hanoi