21:58 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 25/04/2017

Vietnam Today

2020 wind power target unlikely to be met

Released at: 20:00, 17/02/2017

2020 wind power target unlikely to be met

Target of 800MW by 2020 becoming difficult to reach.

by Quynh Nguyen

Vietnam may miss its target of developing 800MW of wind power by 2020 as plans to increase the wind power price continue to be delayed.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) reported last November that plans had been submitted to the government and were expected to be approved by the end of the year or no later than January. A decision, however, is still to be made.

“The renewable power price was expected to increase in December but the continued delays by the government have disappointed international sponsors,” Mr. Bui Van Thinh, Chairman of the Binh Thuan Wind Power Association, told local media. “We have proposed increasing the price to 9.5 cent per kWh many times and hope it will be approved this quarter.”

The plan to increase the wind power price was submitted to the government in November, Mr. Pham Trong Thuc, Director of the New and Renewable Energy Department at MoIT, confirmed. “MoIT is building a price plan so that wind power output can account for 15 to 20 per cent of the national power system,” he said.

There are now four wind power projects in the national power system, including two in south-central Binh Thuan province, one in neighboring Ninh Thuan province, and one in the Mekong Delta’s Bac Lieu province.

Only the Bac Lieu project has a price of 9.8 US cents per kWh, because it is sea wind power. The remaining projects apply a price of 7.8 US cent per kWh.

Under the National Renewable Energy Development Strategy 2020, Vietnam targets total wind power capacity of 800MW and 6,000MW by 2030. Capacity now stands at 160MW. The potential of onshore winds has been calculated at 7,000MW and offshore winds 10,000MW.

Vietnam’s electricity demand is expected to continue to grow 13 per cent annually over the next four years due to its rapidly-expanding economy, which has grown above 5 per cent on average per year since 1999 and is forecast to reach 6.5-7 per cent in the next four years. 

The country now depends on thermal and hydropower for almost all of its electricity demand, while wind power has only contributed 0.3 per cent, according to a recent article from the State-owned Electricity of Vietnam.

Thermal power plants make up more than half of total generation, of which coal-fired plants account for 34 per cent. Investors have committed to more than 45 wind power projects generating more than 4,800MW in total, but most remain on the drawing board. Binh Thuan alone has 16 such projects.

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