Vietnam announces renewable energy plan

VIETNAM has announced a plan to have renewable energy account for three quarters of its national power production capacity by 2045.

Authorities also hope to achieve 70 per cent of actual production through renewable sources under its commitments made during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP 26) last month.

According to a Vn Express report, the targets were set as part of the country's transition to clean energy after Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 during the conference.

Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority head Hoang Tien Dung said Vietnam will shift from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy.

He said that under the draft 10 year Power Development Plan, the Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to increase wind and solar power capacity by 333 per cent and 167 per cent respectively.

The solar capacity will include power generated through rooftop panels.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said Vietnam had a big potential for renewable energy development with around 217 gigawatts of onshore wind power, 160 gigawatts of offshore wind power and 434 gigawatts of solar power (including rooftop panels).

He said the development of renewable energy will bring Vietnam many benefits including lower operating costs as renewable energy costs are set to decline in the future while those of fossil fuel sources are set to rise.

"Vietnam needs to push investment in new and green technologies and dedicate resources to developing these with due technology transfers," Tung said.

UNDP Vietnam's Climate Change and Environment Unit head Dao Xuan Lai said another priority should be to use energy more efficiently as the country needed up to 1.7 times higher energy than other countries in the region to produce power.

He said Vietnam also needs to reduce emissions from the manufacturing sector by half to reach greenhouse gas neutrality in the future.

Meanwhile, the country's power producer Vietnam Electricity recently warned that the northern region will face power shortages during peak hours and extreme weather next year.

The Express reports the company's deputy general director Vo Quang Lam saying at a forum on energy requirements that the north was likely to suffer shortages from May to July when hot spells often persist with temperatures rising above 36 degrees Celsius.

He said it was expected that electricity demand for socioeconomic development would rise next year, when more economic activities resume and people adapt to Covid.

According to the company's estimates, peak capacity in the north will be up by between 2,076 and 2,870 MW next year.

Hydropower plants like Lai Chau, Son La and Hoa Binh supply over 45 per cent of the region's needs, but in the dry season they often face water shortages.

To ensure supply during the 2022 dry season, the plants should store water in late 2021, Lam said.

The utility company also plans to transmit more electricity from the central region to mitigate the likely shortage.

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