Green energy projects in Vietnam still struggling

Bui Vinh Thang, business developer at Mainstream Renewable Power, said on the sidelines of an international conference on wind power in Hanoi City on June 7 that the Government had created good mechanisms for developing wind and solar electricity in 2012 and 2017 respectively.

However, the way the electricity purchase agreement is prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade has made it difficult for solar and wind power investors, especially those from abroad, to raise sufficient capital.

Some contract terms expose investors to risks. This is why financial institutions are reluctant to lend to them.

Meanwhile, the Government has not extended its guarantees to fresh loans for any projects, except for those of national importance, since early 2017.

“No projects of the Vietnam Electricity Group have got Government backing in the year to date,” said Thang.

This has made potential investors reluctant to make their investment decisions.

Overall, electricity purchase agreement and credit issues are regarded as the two biggest difficulties in the eyes of investors.

Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), said at the conference that the council stands ready to help Vietnam develop its solar and wind power sector.

These cheap and clean sources of energy will help boost the economy, strengthen energy security, embrace cutting-edge technology, and create new jobs, according to him.

He stressed the council and the Government could work together to solve some legal issues, he said. The sector will possibly thrive and bring about enormous economic and environmental benefits, as well as make Vietnam a favorable destination for international organizations and investors.

In related news, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told the Reuters News Agency in a recent interview that Vietnam plans to more than triple the amount of electricity it produces from renewable resources and push for a 26% rise in household solar energy use by 2030.

Speaking ahead of Vietnam’s participation in the Outreach Session of the Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Canada from June 8 to 9, the Vietnamese PM said his country is seeking ways to promote renewable energy development, thereby reducing its increasing reliance on coal for electricity generation.

“Vietnam is blessed with immense potential for clean renewable energy development,” PM Phuc told the news agency, adding that the country has great potential for wind energy at an estimated 500-1,000 kWh/m2 on an annual basis.

Besides, the annual number of sunshine hours ranges from 2,500 to 3,000 if the average temperature is above 21 degrees Celsius.

Vietnam has been implementing a strategy for developing renewable energy by 2030 with a vision until 2050, he said.

“It is important that we will not pursue economic growth at the expense of the environment,” Phuc noted.

[Source: 9th June 2018]