Vietnam is one of the world's leading nations in sustainable energy, with robust policies to support energy access, renewables and energy efficiency, the World Bank said in a report.
The Southeast Asian country is ranked the 25th in the World Bank's scorecard on sustainable energy, compiled in January and which grades 111 countries in three areas of energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.
"About half the countries with more appropriate policy environments for sustainable energy are emerging economies,” said the report released Wednesday. They include Mexico, China, Turkey, India, Vietnam, Brazil and South Africa.
Vietnam scores highest in energy efficiency among all developing countries, said the report.
The country’s policy progress was largely driven by an economy, which has had a steady average annual growth of above 5 percent since 1990, one of Asia's fastest rates, based on government statistics.
Vietnam's power demand grew at over 20 percent per year throughout the 1990s, and15-percent in the 2000s, the World Bank estimated.
Vietnam is trying to generate enough energy to facilitate its economic growth and connect millions of people who still lack access to electricity to the grid, while gradually shifting towards clean and low-carbon energy.
The government has projected electricity output to rise to 330–362 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2020 and to 695–834 billion kWh in 2030, from around 200 billion kWh in 2015, to meet a surging demand, which will also require a boost of renewable energy.
In comparison to other more traditional energy sources such as oil and coal, renewable energy is relatively new in Vietnam. Its presence is strongly driven by government policies, and is mostly positioned within sustainable development and greenhouse gas reduction frameworks.
The government has recently revised down the target for electricity output by coal-fired power plants to 53.2 percent of the total power generation by 2030, from 56.4 percent previously projected.
Vietnam now aims for 10.7 percent of the total electricity output by 2030 generated from renewable energy, mainly solar and wind energy, up from 6 percent previously planned.
By 2020 wind power would account for 0.8 percent of the country's total power output, while 0.5 percent would come from solar power.
The World Bank's report, entitled Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy, provides benchmarks to evaluate clean energy progress, using 27 indicators and 80 sub-indicators including legal frameworks, building codes, and government incentives and policies to calculate an overall score.