Rooftop solar power offers saving solution during COVID-19

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries limiting customs clearance, solar power enterprises with manufacturing plants in Vietnam are still taking advantage of the domestic market to serve customers and sustain growth.

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A roof-top solar power system is installed on a house in central Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Chief Business Officer and representative of the HCM City-based Bach Khoa Solar Energy Company (SolarBK), said various COVID-19 solutions had been offered to preserve the market from damage from the pandemic.

She said the global spread of COVID-19 had boosted the Photovoltaic (PV) market in Vietnam this year since the social distance order had restricted trade, while solar panels were imported from foreign countries.

“Our company has offered two solutions – the BigK solar power, BigK Basic and BigK Advance – to meet the need of customers since March 2020. It means that a household that installed a system of 4KWp of the BigK Basic solution would earn its breakeven point in four years and eight months, two months shorter than before,” Quynh said.

“The above solutions were considered a safe and effective investment channel during the peak power consumption in the dry season next month,” she said.

She said with the new purchase price from the Government, many customers have become interested in BigK solutions to ease power consumption in summer, and SolarBK could provide competitive made-in-Vietnam PV panels to reduce investment for households and provide a favourable guarantee policy as well.

Quynh added that many businesses had suffered heavy damage as economic activities were suspended due to COVID-19, but banks could offer loans for customers.

According to independent research by the Vietnam National Economics University, if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts until the end of June, September or the end of the year, 6.1% of Vietnamese enterprises would maintain their operation, while 19.3% will have to reduce production scale. Meanwhile 39.3% would go bankrupt.

The stock market is now risky as Vietnam’s economy could fall into the red, while different countries had to shut down their markets in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Deputy General Director of the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN)’s HCM City branch Bui Trung Kien said power use increased more than in previous years during the social distancing order.

He said students and labourers had to stay at home as their schools and workplaces were forced to shut down.

He said that EVN indicated the power consumption nationwide in March had increased by 8.55% over the same period last year. Two economic hubs – Hanoi and HCM City – had 17% and 13% rises, respectively

He said household solar power installation could help save home power use cost during the social distancing period.

Recently, the Prime Minister also issued Decision 13/2020 / QD-TTg (known as Decision 13) on the incentive programme to encourage development of solar energy in Vietnam

It offers the buyback rate of PV rooftop at VND1,943 per KWh (US$0.0935 per KWh) for all solar power projects operating after June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2020. The decision has earned confidence and encouragement among solar power investors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Dinh Chien, a customer in Tan Binh district, HCM City, said he decided to install a roof-top solar power system to gain benefits from the government’s solar power buy-back policy, while reducing power use costs.

“My family uses on average 600 kWh of power each month, so a BigK 3kWp roof-top solar power system would help reduce half of power cost from the Government’s solar power buy-back policy,” he said.

VNS/VNA