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Vietnam Today

Smart Grid Development meeting held

Released at: 09:59, 08/04/2019

Smart Grid Development meeting held

Photo: GIZ

Annual meeting of Steering Committee on Smart Grid Development held on April 4 in Hanoi.

by Minh Do

Vietnam’s overall installed electricity generation capacity was 50.3 GW as of February, with the dominant sources for power production being hydro power (40 per cent), coal (37.6 per cent), natural gas (18.1 per cent), and imports (2.8 per cent).

The information was released at the annual meeting of the Steering Committee on Smart Grid Development held on April 4 in Hanoi to review last year’s activities in the implementation of the Smart Grid Road Map and to determine plans for 2019.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director General of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV), chaired the event on behalf of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT). Participants were representatives from the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Finance, Science and Technology, and Construction, Electricity of Vietnam, and other relevant agencies.

Representatives from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH also attended the event, presenting an overview of its Smart Grids for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SGREEE) project and introducing feasible smart grid technologies and solutions for the integration of renewable energy sources into Vietnam’s power system.

The country aims to increase its renewable energy share in power production substantially (for e.g. 800 MW of wind and 850 MW of solar by 2020), according to the national Power Development Plan (PDP VII revised, from March 2016). Due to successful incentive mechanisms for the development of wind and solar energy resources, 400 MW of wind and up to 2,000 MW of solar are expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 2019 and the figures will increase afterwards.

This transition, however, is a challenge to grid management, which has to ensure the electricity supply’s reliability, long-term security, and affordability.

With substantial foresight, the government has already issued Decision No. 1670/QD-TTg on the Development of Intelligent Power Grids in Vietnam (known as the Smart Grid Road Map), on November 8, 2012. The Road Map aims to increase the quality and reliability of power supply as well as improve the effective use of electricity.

Established in 2013, the Steering Committee has responsibilities to instruct relevant agencies to develop smart grid projects, identify projects’ specific targets, assign tasks to implementing agencies, and supervise the implementation of Decision No. 1670/QD-TTg. MoIT chairs the committee and ERAV is its standing agency.

The SGREEE project is supporting the Vietnamese Government in the implementation of its Smart Grid Road Map. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the project now works closely with ERAV to support experts in Vietnam’s power sector in developing a Smart Grid, which allows the integration of an increasing share of renewable energies and supports greater energy efficiency. The project, carried out from 2017 to 2021, consists of three main Actions Areas: Legal and Regulatory Framework, Capacity Development, and Technology Cooperation.

Smart Grid is a two-way interchange where both electricity and information can be exchanged in both directions between power utilities and consumers. It uses digital technology to improve reliability, security, and efficiency in the power system and allows for especially volatile renewable energy, such as wind and solar power production, to be integrated on a large-scale into the national grid. In contrast, the current grid uses a limited one-way interaction, in which power flows from the power plant to the consumer.

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