​Clean energy remains a distant dream in Vietnam

Investors who once rushed to invest in Vietnam’s fledging clean energy industry are now backing off due to unprofitability, further hindering the country’s dream of getting greener. The low price of electricity produced by wind and solar farms, as well as the lack of any government subsidy or favorable loan package are the reasons cited by foreign investors for their withdrawal. As of August 2017, up to 19 gigawatts of solar energy is potentially available in Vietnam via small-scale projects, according to Sonia Lioret, principal technical advisor and project lead of a joint energy support program run by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade in cooperation with the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ). Additionally, over 100 large-scale projects are planned in the provinces of Dak Lak, Binh Thuan, Tay Ninh, Ninh Thuan, and Khanh Hoa, but only a handful have been officially approved for development. The reason, Lioret explained, is that investors, relevant authorities of Vietnam, and local grid operators are all unfamiliar with how to implement such projects. A floating wind farm in Bac Lieu Province, located in southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre There are now multiple power generators in Vietnam, but all of them have been forced to sell electricity to one buyer, the Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN), which distributes power to consumers via five regional units in the north, central, and southern regions, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. A recent government-approved decision to raise EVN’s buying price for solar power to 9.35 cents per kWh… [Read full story]


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