Decision paves way for solar power development

Update: April, 18/2017 - 15:00
The solar power factory in Côn Đảo Island in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngọc Hà
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Opportunities to invest in Việt Nam’s solar energy sector are abundant after Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc issued a decision to encourage the development of solar power projects.

Under Decision 11/2017/QĐ-TTg, which takes effective from June 1, 2017, all output produced by solar power projects will be purchased for VNĐ2,086 (US 9.3 cent)/kWh (excluding VAT) - a profitable rate for investors.

The price will be adjusted in line with the VNĐ/USD exchange rate, and only applied to power grid-connected projects with the cell efficiency above 16 per cent or productivity module over 15 per cent.

Investors involved in solar power projects in Việt Nam will be eligible for various incentives, especially support related to land, investment capital and import and corporate income tax.

The decision aims to draw finances to the field, with many investors interested in the industry.

In March, the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk granted investment certificates and signed agreements with partners to develop a series of solar power projects with total investment of $3.3 billion.

The US power group AES signed a memorandum of understanding with provincial authorities to construct a $750-million-solar power plant with combined capacity of 300-500 MW.

Also, Xuân Thiên Đắk Lắk Ltd, Solar Park Global of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Long Thanh Infrastructure Investment received approval to implement projects with respective worth of $2.2 billion, $45 million and $308 million.

Meanwhile, the RoK’s electricity developer Solkiss signed an agreement with the northern province of Yên Bái to build a 500MW-solar electricity project worth more than $1 billion in Thác Bà Lake.

Many more domestic and foreign investors have been pouring their money into solar energy projects in the central provinces of Bình Định, Khánh Hòa, Ninh Thuận, Thừa Thiên – Huế, Hà Tĩnh, Quãng Ngãi, and the Mekong Delta province of Sóc Trăng.

However, the number and value of projects invested by foreign firms in the field remains limited.

The Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that only 16 foreign-invested green energy projects were operating in Việt Nam as of the end of 2016, with total registered capital of $778 million and only 18 per cent of them invest in solar power.

The decision is expected to pave the way for investors, especially foreign investors, to expand their operation in the power industry. — VNS