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Green Growth Strategy stirs up local power mix

According to MoIT, in parallel to the development of coal power, the government is calling on investors to invest more in renewable energy, such as wind power, solar power, and biomass power. Vietnam has great potential to develop these types of energy.

Over the past few years, only 7MW of solar PV capacity has been installed in Vietnam, with around 2MW drawn from rooftop solar arrays, though dozens of foreign investors have come to Vietnam in search of investment into renewable energy projects.

According to UNDP, the future of electricity supply in Vietnam can be strongly based on renewable energy. This would help limit the country’s growing dependency on energy imports, including coal imports.

For example, recently in Ninh Thuan, Singapore’s Nexif Energy worked with authorities on several wind and solar power projects in the province. These projects have received the thumbs-up from the authorities. It is expected that the investor will officially submit their investment proposals to the province in the near future.

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Sinenergy Holdings inked a memorandum of understanding with the government of Ninh Thuan for a 300MW solar power plant in combination with high-tech agricultural production in Ninh Phuoc district. The 832ha, VND7.92 trillion (US$360 million) project will annually produce over 550 million kWh per year. It is expected that the project will commence construction in February 2018 and begin operation in July 2019.

Also in Ninh Thuan, local company Thien Tan Group is co-operating with US firm Black & Veatch Group to make a feasibility study for implementing a US$2 billion, 1GW solar power project.

Also in this province, Canadian company CMX Renewable Energy planned to construct a 250ha, 150MW solar power plant worth US$150 million. In the nearby province of Binh Thuan, US-based ACO Investment Group also expressed an interest in building a 50MW solar power farm.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, currently Vietnam has about 110 foreign-invested electricity and gas projects, of which 16 are in the clean energy sector with total registered capital of US$778 million. Of this, US$577 million is for wind power, US$137.38 million for solar power, and the remaining for biomass power.

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