Vietnam has a great potential for wind, solar, and biomass energy. A recent survey shows that Vietnam’s total wind power potential is between 7,000 and 8,700 MW, mainly concentrated in the central coast, southern, and central highlands areas and islands.
With a total of about 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, Vietnam has a strong potential to develop solar energy.
As heavy investment in industries and the population are on the rise, meeting the growing demand for electricity is a real problem. Renewable energy is one solution adopted by many countries to replace the power based on dwindling fossil fuels,
Aware of the potential of renewable energy for Vietnam’s socio-economic development, the Vietnamese government has approved a strategy for renewable energy development in Vietnam by 2030 with a vision to 2050.
Tran Viet Ngai, Chairman of the Vietnam Energy Association, said, “Fossil fuels are running out and causing environmental pollution, especially coal power plants. This makes renewal energy essential. Vietnam has a plan to develop renewable energy by 2030 with a vision to 2050. Thanks to this policy, a number of foreign companies have invested in wind and solar power in Vietnam.”
Despite its great potential, the exploitation of wind, solar, and biomass energy in Vietnam remains on a small pilot scale.
In 2013, 10 wind turbines with a capacity of 16 MW - the first phase of the Bac Lieu wind power project – were officially connected to the national power grid, providing more than 100 MW of electricity per day.
In the second phase, an additional 50 wind power towers with a capacity of 83 MW will be built. This is one of 3 wind power plants that have been put into operation.
The other projects are in Tuy Phong district and on Phu Quy Island in Binh Thuan province. The two largest solar power projects are the Di An project, with a capacity of 212 KW, and the Saigon Hi-Tech 200 KW project.
More and more companies are getting involved in manufacturing batteries and solar equipment, according to Vu Minh Phap, Deputy Director of the Center for New Energy and Renewable Energy.
“We have formed a market for domestic solar cell and component manufacturers, which will reduce the cost of renewable energy systems,” Phap said.
Each kind of energy - small hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, biomass energy, and bioenergy - needs different technologies and policies to develop in line with global trends and practical conditions within Vietnam.
Doan Van Binh, Director of the Institute for New Energy and Renewable Energy, said, “We are particularly interested in biomass energy. Input materials that are by-products of agroforestry production and husbandry been used to produce solid energy in various forms, such as bio-tablets, bio-coal or fuel rods. We have also created different forms of biogas, and bio-chemicalization of biomass.”
According to the scenario for renewable energy development, Vietnam can exploit 3,000 to 5,000MW with an output of more than 10 billion kWh from renewable energy by 2025.