US launches $36-mln clean energy project in Vietnam

By Minh Nga   June 4, 2022 | 06:00 am PT
US launches $36-mln clean energy project in Vietnam
A solar farm in Vietnam's central Binh Thuan Province, which was built with technical support from USAID. Photo by USAID
A project funded by an U.S. aid agency has been launched in Hanoi to have the private sector engage more in Vietnam's renewable energy development.

The Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II) project, announced by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to Vietnam last August, costs $36.25 million and will be funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

It is built on results of the V-LEEP I, which ran from 2015 to 2020 and will see USAID work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on developing the ministry’s Eighth National Power Development Plan and design of the Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) pilot program.

The DPPA allows businesses in Vietnam to purchase electricity directly from private firms producing renewable energy, instead of through local power utilities. V-LEEP I also worked with the private sector to mobilize more than $311 million to build 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects.

V-LEEP II will continue its work with the ministry to increase clean energy deployment, through mobilization of private sector investment, project design support for developers, and technical assistance for lenders. The new project aims to support 2,000 MW of renewable energy commissioned between 2020 and 2025 through private sector engagement.

Through the project, USAID and Vietnam's government continue collaboration to improve energy planning and operations to enhance energy sector performance.

"The V-LEEP II program will be a cornerstone of U.S. support to Vietnam in achieving its climate change commitments," U.S. Ambassador Marc Knapper said in a statement.

At the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26), Vietnam pledged to transit to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The country will also support major statements and initiatives on forest protection, transition to renewable energy, adaptation for local communities, and methane reduction.

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