Household solar-power providers flock to Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge - As the electricity price is on the rise, solar power is becoming a popular choice for Vietnamese families.


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Solar power is becoming a popular choice for Vietnamese families



The total sunshine hours in Vietnam is 1,600-2,700 hours per year, and annual average solar radiation reaches 4-5 kWh per square meter per day.

EVN, the largest electricity generator, has decided to develop solar power with the ambitious plan to increase solar power capacity to 850-1,200 MW in 2020-2030, or hundreds of times higher than current figures. 

EVN, the largest electricity generator, has decided to develop solar power with the ambitious plan to increase solar power capacity to 850-1,200 MW in 2020-2030, or hundreds of times higher than current figures. 

To obtain this, Vietnam has offered preferences to encourage investment in solar power projects. It has set the electricity purchase price at 9.35 cent per kwh, or VND2,086 per kwh, high enough to bring profit to investors.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), by mid-August, Vietnam had attracted over 100 solar power farm projects with total registered capacity of 4.7 GW. It had also licensed 748 solar power rooftop projects with total capacity of 11.5 MW.

However, problems still exist. The regulations in electricity purchase contract implementation remain unclear, while the Ministry of Finance has not set up tax rates for the contracts. 

Meanwhile, people are reluctant to install solar rooftop systems because of the high investment rate.

There are too many solution providers for choice. SolarBK, Mat Troi Do, Vu Phong, Trung Nam Solar, SolarCo, (SolarKing) and SolarStore are the best known names.

Analysts estimate that one family has to pay VND46 million on average to install a system with the minimum capacity of 2kwp. The price level is 30 percent lower than three years ago. A 2kwp system will generate 254 kwh of electricity each month for household use or sale to EVN.

Solar BK, a solution provider, said that if families install the systems with the capacity of 10 kwp or higher, after five years they will take back the investment capital and make profits for the next 20 years.

Solar BK is one of a few businesses which have IREX factory and can make solar panels in Vietnam. The factory has total capacity of 500 MWp and international certificates including UL and TUV. Solar BK also exports solar panels which bring 70-80 percent of total revenue.

Foreign big players in the solar power sector, including Canadian Solar, Sharp, Trina Solar, First Solar and JA Solar, have been or are going to jump into Vietnam after realizing the great potential of the market.

Analysts believe that now is the time for families to install solar power rooftop systems, because if they do this after June 30, 2019, they will not be able to sell excess electricity to EVN at good prices.


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Mai Chi

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