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Vietnam is one of the 10 countries with the highest solar power output in the world

Up to now, Vietnam is the leading country in ASEAN in terms of scale and proportion of wind and solar power sources, accounting for 27% of total power capacity (as of the first quarter of 2022).

source: the Internet
source: the Internet

According to a report by Vietnam Electricity Group, by the end of 2021, the total installed capacity of power sources of the whole system will reach 76,620MW, an increase of nearly 7,500MW compared to 2020, in which, the total capacity of power sources renewable energy (wind power, solar power) is 20,670MW, an increase of 3,420MW compared to 2020, accounting for 27% of the system. The scale of Vietnam's power system has risen to the top of the ASEAN region in terms of power capacity.

Vietnam's energy generation by fuel type (source: the Economist)
Vietnam's energy generation by fuel type (source: the Economist)

In 3 years of implementing the incentive mechanism for solar power development, with the incentive fixed price mechanism (FIT), by December 31, 2020, the power system has received about 17,000 MW of solar power. Also with the FIT pricing mechanism, by 31st October 2021, the power system had received and put into operation about 4,000 MW of wind power. These incentive and incentive mechanisms have created great advantages for investors to exploit the potential and develop very quickly renewable energy sources, contributing to promoting the sustainable energy transition according to orientation of the Politburo in Resolution 55/NQ-TW.

The share of renewable energy in total primary energy consumption will reach about 31.0% by 2020; about 32.3% in 2030 and increase, reaching about 44.0% in 2050.

A waste of resource

On the last day of August and the beginning of September 2022, the People's Committee of Ninh Thuan province and Trung Nam Group continuously sent documents to the leaders of the Government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnam Electricity (EVN). ) proposes to continue mobilising the capacity of the 450 MW Trung Nam Thuan Nam Solar Power Plant without the electricity price mechanism. The reason is that on August 31, 2022, the Electricity Trading Company (EPTC) of EVN issued a notice to stop mobilising 172 MW of generating capacity in this 450 MW project from September 1, 2022 because there is no price. Not only Trung Nam Group, but also T&T Group's Thien Tan 1.2 and Thien Tan 1.3 solar power plants also received similar notices.

The absence of follow-up policies for unfinished renewable energy projects such as solar power in Ninh Thuan beyond the capacity of 2,000 MW but completed in 2020, other solar power projects from January 1, 2021, the wind power project from November 2021 in particular, or the overall policy for the development of the power system in general today shows inadequacies and confusion on the part of the authorities. Although solar power and wind power cannot run with a stable and long time like coal power, the current price of about 2,500 - 2,800 VND/kWh of solar power (compared to about 4,000 VND/kWh of coal power) is still cheaper and contributes to energising the system. The power system is having to meet the requirements of stable power supply without continuing to increase the average retail price that has been available since 2019.

Ministry of Industry and Trade: By 2030, there will be no ground-based solar power development

Regarding the incentive mechanism for solar power development (FIT price), the FIT price is implemented in accordance with Decisions 11 and 13 of the Government with many incentives. Specifically, for ground-based solar power, Decision 11 has a preferential price of 9.35 cents/kWh, Decision 13 is 7.09 cents/kWh and rooftop solar power is 8.38 cents/kWh. Thanks to those incentive mechanisms, over the past time, solar power has developed very quickly in a short time. It is estimated that nearly 20 GW of solar power has been installed and accounts for a large structure in the Vietnamese power system.

Vietnam is in the Top 10 solar capacity ranking (source: ember)
Vietnam is in the Top 10 solar capacity ranking (source: ember)

However, a representative of the Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy also confirmed that Decision 13 had expired on December 30, 2020, and the FIT preferential price mechanism to encourage investment is only applicable during a certain period of time to attract the development of projects. The extension of the FIT preferential price to date is hence no longer appropriate.

According to statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, by the end of December 31, 2020, there were 148 projects recognised for commercial operation (COD) with a total capacity of 8,652.9 MW. This figure is far behind the total planned additional solar power capacity of 15,400 MW.

In the petition of solar power investors, it is said that, after being approved for the policy of supplementing the revised Power Master Plan VII, the investors have implemented the project with necessary procedures and resources such as purchasing land and be granted a certificate of land use right according to the location and area as planned. Investors have also requested to approve the investment policy since December 2020, but so far, it has not been approved by the investment registration agency, which replied that there is no mechanism. Furthermore, in the process of carrying out the procedures for approving investment policies, many competent agencies have sent documents to consult the Ministry of Industry and Trade, but have not received a response. However, with the fact that there is an excess of solar power, and there is no mechanism for storage batteries and new electricity prices, it is not easy for investors to do it.

Source: the Internet

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