Solar energy is regarded as savior for Vietnam, the country of two-digit energy demand growth annually.
Many global experts have recommended a number of measures to help Vietnam tap its great solar power potential which is around 13.5 gigawatts (GW) in planning for the next decade starting from 2020.
|Vietnam plans to develop roughly 13,000 MW of solar power in the next decade|
Most of the suggestions in the recent webinar held by Energy Box have focused on sustainability, use of technology, and growing environmental and climate concerns in Vietnam’s renewable energy landscape.
The solutions help dwell more on the current scenario and ways to accelerate solar development in Vietnam, the largest installed capacity of solar panels in the whole region.
Samresh Kumar, chairman of Vietnam-based skyX Solar, pointed out that the major challenge is the threshold capacity, saying that the Vietnamese government should increase it to break the barrier and to accelerate development while a clear regulation should be made.
“In Vietnam, regulations are improving in a right direction. Its capacity has been increased to 1GW in a year and has a potential of development of 18GW by 2030,” he said, adding that there are many advantages like no land requirement and licensing is much easier.
Jose Antonio Milan Ruano, Chief Global Development Officer at Spain-headquartered Univergy Solar, exclaimed “There is huge potential in market.” He said that they have been able to drive the market through real corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs).
He stressed the need of competitive process of tenders for sub-contractors, subsidy for floating solar among others as it has real potential in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam.
Tong Phan Long representing Wealth Power Group appreciated the investment landscape in Vietnam, informing that they have the biggest project of 4,000 MW in central Vietnam, for which they have already signed the mandate with the World Bank’s private investment arm IFC.
Dr. Hoang Giang from Pacifico Energy of Vietnam said that “There will be a big shortage of energy in future and renewable energy is the key. Moreover, rooftop is the future for Vietnam, though talks are on wind and other energy forms.”
Meanwhile, Bence Szegedi from SUSI Partners AG highlighted a need of clarity of market for next years, upcoming schemes, auctions, bankable PPA among others. He also mentioned curtailment, and stressed that good visibility of legislation is a key for putting more money in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has launched the new solar feed-in-tariffs (FiT) encouraging investment in renewable energy. The new tariffs are classified for ground-mounted, floating, and rooftop types. Since the government intends to double its power generation capacity over the next decade, many have pointed out the need of some adjustments, clarity and strategic planning.
Sharing the same view with Bence Szegedi, Dr. Valerie Speth, CEO of Asia Pacific, Juwi Holding AG, stressed the need of regulatory framework while transferring the total energy system into renewable energy.
Some stable frameworks in the long run is needed to achieve the goal of 13.5 GW of solar energy. Since the spirit of people in Vietnam is higher, even 22 GW can be achieved, she noted.
Lorenzo Mancini from Total Solar, commented that Vietnam is an important market and the company is looking for several projects. As Vietnam has big advantage of rooftop, long-term clarity should be made to offer investors opportunities to explore the market.
Most of recommendations by foreign experts and investors have suggested that the government of Vietnam needs to have clear and supportive mechanisms, including the extension of FiT scheme to keep the investors’ appetite.
As such, Vietnam can position itself as a renewable leader in Southeast Asia thanks to its large solar irradiance map and long coastline and vast sea.