New solar power plan to make investment easier

The national and provincial solar power plans will be released next year, cutting some red tape for the wave of investors registering solar power projects in Vietnam following the introduction of a new feed-in-tariff which sits at 9.35 US cents per kWh.



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Tang The Hung, a senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Energy Department, said the long-awaited national solar power plan will address zoning, land, technical potential, the grid, and transmission, in line with the national power plan 2011-2020 with a vision toward 2030-the revised Power Development Plan VII (PDP VII).

“We will release a plan in 2018 as there are now hundreds of solar energy investment proposals following the policy changes,” Hung said.

Approved projects will have a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2019. Proposed projects, if approved, would have a capacity of 15,000MW by 2030, exceeding the target of 12,000MW by 2030 outlined in the PDP VII.

Nguyen Thanh Hung, who is in charge of investment in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho-based Power Generation Corporation 2 – said that the firm plans to invest in solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, but has yet to make a final decision.

“The reason is not enough information out there on the provinces and zones with the most solar potential,” Hung said on the sidelines of a recent workshop on solar PV power organized by GIZ in Hanoi.

Shenbagam Manthiram, chief representative officer of India’s Tata Power in Vietnam, said that a dearth of solar plans is one of the key issues for solar investors in Vietnam. The investors themselves must conduct research to find the most promising location, and must then wait for approval from the local government in said location.

Sonia Lioret, head of GIZ’s 4E project at the GIZ workshop, said the national assessment of development potential for solar energy in Vietnam is crucial, as it will not only enable the public to have a better understanding of the solar potential, but also help people to know where solar project developers are working.

At the same time, it will facilitate the work for investors and provide input for the government to develop the National Solar Planning.

An Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) official said that many investors in the central province of Binh Thuan are calling for the establishment of a 220-kilovolt (kV) grid station in Ninh Phuoc district. It is meant to absorb the power generated from nearby solar PV projects so they can earn benefits from the government’s much-awaited Decision No. 11/2017 on feed-in-tariffs (FiT) for solar power.

He confirmed that EVN has yet to make sure that such a grid station would operate well, due to the lack of certified data on solar energy potential. For investors, benefits and investment returns always come first.

According to Graetan Masson, director of Belgium-based Becquerel Institute, the grid plays an important role in the development of solar PV power and other electricity sources. If the grid is too weak, a large part of electricity from PV generation is lost.

The grid must therefore be well-developed. According to him, transformer stations should be placed in areas with the most solar potential, such as the highlands and southern provinces. The northern region could be more difficult for investors.

The Institute of Energy’s (IoE) recent basic study, based on two solar maps and a few other data sources, shows that Vietnam’s technical solar generation potential is roughly 22.55 million gigawatt-hours per year, equivalent to 4.19% of the resource’s potential. But the figure would need to change to meet the real potential in the future, IoE experts said.

Under the revised PDP VII, Vietnam is looking to increase its total solar power output from just a dozen or so MW currently to 850MW in 2020 and 12,000MW by 2030. The total solar power output is expected to account for 0.5% of overall national electricity generation in 2020 and 3.3% in 2030.

VIR

New solar power plan to make investment easier, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news
 
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