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Vietnam to lead region in solar energy

Released at: 15:07, 10/04/2019

Vietnam to lead region in solar energy

Photo: Minh Do

"Solar Energy Vietnam: Grid Integration Challenges and Opportunities" workshop held on April 10 in Hanoi.

by Minh Do

The government has targeted Vietnam becoming one of the leading countries in Southeast Asia in developing solar energy, Professor Emilia Motoasca from Ku Leuven, a Belgium-based research and education organization, told the “Solar Energy Vietnam: Grid Integration Challenges and Opportunities” workshop held on April 10 in Hanoi.

Dr. Nguyen Van Khai, a local solar energy expert, told the gathering Vietnam had 242 registered solar energy projects in 2018, including 100 projects signed and 50 put into operation. Solar energy harvesting, especially through PV systems, is booming and is expected to reach unprecedented levels in the coming years. The incentives introduced by the government in 2017 have attracted 20 GW of large-scale solar developments and it is predicted that Vietnam will lead these developments in Southeast Asia.

However, the concern is that the completion of new projects may lead to grid overload and the suboptimal operation of PV installations. Besides large-scale projects, smaller rooftop installations (PV or hybrid PV/T) are still of interest in the general population, since these will not introduce substantial grid overload.

With respect to environmental concerns, due to population growth, the expansion of urbanization, and reductions in agricultural land, rural regions (connected or not connected to the national grid) are becoming smaller and local inhabitants want to partially preserve traditional lifestyles. In this context, new innovative solutions, not only technical but also socioeconomic, should be identified to cope with and resolve these challenges.

The workshop presented and discussed state-of-the-art and modern practices in solar harvesting and storage technologies, grid integration challenges, and related socioeconomic aspects in Vietnam and Belgium.

The workshop facilitated the exchange of ideas and solutions along a broad range of disciplines relating to solar energy production, transport, storage and use, and among many different types of stakeholders, from end-users in rural areas, PV installers, and researchers to local governments, businesses, and grid operators. Academic and industrial solar energy experts from both countries presented their view on these issues and shared best practices and exchanged ideas on how to cope with existing challenges and maximize opportunities.

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