Calculations from the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) showed that to meet the quick increase in electricity demand from now to 2030, the power sector needs to ensure an output of 265-278 billion kWh of electricity in 2020 and from 572-632 billion kWh in the following ten years.
Electricity demand expands between 10.3-11.3% during 2016-2020 but slows down to 8-8.5% during 2021-2030. However, it is still a tough task for the sector to ensure sufficient electricity, especially when many power projects have been delayed.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong stressed that power shortage may start right in the beginning years of the period, with severe deficiency predicted in 2022. In addition, electrical load growth rate could be higher than forecast.
“The electrical load growth rate is estimated at some 9% from now to 2025, and 8% afterwards. However, stronger economic development will result in higher power demand. If electricity plant projects, especially those in major gas-fuelled power complexes of O Mon, Dung Quat and Chu Lai, lag behind the set deadline, the country will experience desperate shortage of electricity”, he underlined.
Explosive growth in electrical load will also put pressure on the power sector to upgrade infrastructure which requires a large amount of capital in the context of escalating public debt and inauspicious equitisation progress.
Other challenges faced by the sector include dependence on imported fuels, and environmental pollution, experts said.
According to former Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, ensuring energy security is hard, particularly when the country has suspended nuclear power projects but the development of other sources of energy, especially renewable energy, is hindered by many unsolved problems.
Economist Tran Dinh Thien proposed another approach to power security, that is to manage power demand.
He stressed that it is necessary to price energy at suitable levels to prevent waste in consumption and attract investors.
Participants at the event agreed that besides encouragement of energy saving, a suitable pricing mechanism will help attract investment, and foster the development of renewable energies.