Power shortages not going away: expert

By Anh Minh   July 30, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Power shortages not going away: expert
A Hanoi Electricity worker checks electricity meters . Photo by Hoang Hiep
The North will continue to face electricity shortages as the region’s new power projects remain behind schedule, said a Vietnam Energy Association expert.

Less than half the new power sources that Vietnam had planned to be operational by now are currently running.

"This is one of the reasons why the North encounters electricity shortages in the hot season, because we fall short of electricity [due to delays in opening new sources], while consumer demand increases every year," Nguyen Anh Tuan from the Vietnam Energy Association said at a seminar called "Mechanisms and Solutions for Sustainable Energy Development" last Friday.

Pressure on capital and fuel, and complicated legal and procedural issues have caused many power projects in the revised National Power Development Plan VII to fail to operate on time.

"The power supply for the North in the next two years is still very stressful. The risk of electricity shortages exists when projects are behind schedule," said Tuan.

In a report sent to the Government in June, national utility Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said electricity demand in the North increases by an average of 10% a year, equivalent to 2,400-2,900 MW.

But new power sources which are expected to be put into operation in 2024 and 2025 have a total capacity of only 780 MW and 1,620 MW, respectively, just 30-50% of the increased electricity demand in the North.

EVN believes electricity supply in the North will still face difficulties at least through 2025, especially at the end of the dry season when water levels at hydropower reservoirs is low.

From the end of May, Hanoi and many other localities in the North experienced days of blackouts due to the skyrocketing demand in the hot season.

Hydroelectricity plants, one of the two main sources of supply in the North, underperformed because of a prolonged drought.

EVN said the North has basically enough electricity from June 23. However, the northern power system does not have backup capacity, so extreme situations could still disrupt supply.

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