Vietnam Looks to Increase Renewables
Vietnam needs a long-term renewable energy development vision in line with international commitments to improve its economic efficiency and environmental quality, mitigate climate change and modernise industries.
Experts made the suggestion at a recent workshop on energy transition in connection with social equity held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
They said the vision will help poor households gain access to renewable energy and boost the development of new industrial sectors to create a cleaner environment.
Pouring investment in energy reserves and the national grid is also important, participants said, adding that Vietnam should shift to using renewable energy, especially solar, wind and biomass electricity.
CIEM Deputy Director Nguyen Thi Tue Anh suggested increasing financial and technical transparency of state-owned groups to build trust and create equal competition for the sake of consumers.
It is necessary to build a policy framework to increase competition pressure in the oil and gas market, she said.
She recommended improving capacity of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) and localities to implement regulations on renewable power, providing households and businesses in remote areas with renewable energy measures, and building technical and administrative regulations.
In fact, except for hydropower, renewable energy is little used in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the utilisation of fossil fuels for power generation in industrial sectors and transport is increasing rapidly, making Vietnam become a fossil fuel importer.
According to the national power development plan in 2011-2020, coal-fired electricity is forecast to make up over half of the total power output by 2030.
Under the national renewable energy development strategy, the power system will include over 40 percent of renewable energy and hydropower by 2050.
Vietnam has devised some policies to support the use of renewable energy such as wind and solar power, biomass and waste-burnt electricity.
However, the proportion of such energy is still low and ineffective due to small-scale projects and lack of management regulations.
There are not many programmes to support businesses while commercial banks pay no attention to providing capital for energy efficiency projects.
The electricity sector has yet focused on expanding renewable energy markets. The slow renovation hinders the creation of a competitive electricity wholesale and retail market.
The lack of transparency of some State-owned enterprises makes it difficult for private companies to invest in the field.
Poor infrastructure and human resources shortage also restrict the development of renewable energy.