Vietnam to focus more on wind energy to power growth - VnExpress International

Vietnam to focus more on wind energy to power growth

By VnExpress   November 30, 2016 | 12:04 pm GMT+7
Vietnam to focus more on wind energy to power growth
Coal-hungry Vietnam is turning to renewable sources, including wind power, to combat climate change and meet mounting demand as the economy and population continue to expand. Photo by Reuters.

Renewable energy sources remain largely untapped across the country.

Vietnam plans to increase the amount renewable energy contributes to national power consumption to at least 7 percent by 2020 -- up from the previous target of 4.5 percent.

The revision to the plan reflects the fact that Vietnam is increasingly turning to renewable sources, as stated in the National Action Plan on Green Growth 2014–2020, including wind power, solar energy, tidal energy, geothermal energy, biofuel and universal energy to combat climate change.

Vietnam, which relies heavily on coal and hydropower electricity, is seeking to boost renewable energy production, particularly wind and solar energy, to more than 10.7 percent by 2030, up from the previously planned 6 percent.

The country has set a target of producing around 6,000 mega watts (MW) of wind power by 2030, equivalent to 2.1 percent of total electricity generation.

Deputy Trade Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong said the country currently has three wind farms with a combined capacity of just 150 MW, implying that there is much more room for wind power in the country’s energy mix, the Saigon Times reported.

Earlier this month, Vietnam signed a $2.2 billion deal with an Irish energy firm to build and operate three more wind farms with a total capacity of 940 MW.

Under the deal, an 800MW wind farm, worth about $2 billion, will be developed in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, with the first phase set to be completed in 2018. The other two wind farms in Binh Thuan Province, with an investment of $200 million, will also see the first phase completed in late 2018.

“Wind power now accounts for about 4 percent of total global energy consumption," said Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, highlighting the need to shift towards renewable sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "It is expected to increase to 6-8 percent by 2020, 18-20 percent by 2030 and a third of total consumption by 2050.” 

The country’s electricity demand is expected to continue to grow 13 percent annually in the next four years due to its fast-expanding economy, which has grown above 5 percent on average per year since 1999 and is forecast to reach 6.5-7 percent in the next four years.

To meet increasing power demands, Vietnam projects its output will need to increase to 330–362 billion kWh in 2020, and to 695–834 billion kWh in 2030.

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