Workshop considers next steps in solar power development

August 24, 2018 - 06:00

Promoting rooftop solar power is one of solutions to address the imminent shortage of power, experts told a workshop in HCM City on Thursday.

A workshop in HCM City on Thursday reviews implementation of Decision 11 and Circular 16 on solar energy development during the one year since they were issued.— VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Promoting rooftop solar power is one of the solutions to address the imminent shortage of power, experts told a workshop in HCM City on Thursday.                       

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) expects a power shortage in 2021-22, and warned that if demand is higher than its forecast, the situation could be worse than it fears.

The workshop was held by the Việt Nam Sustainable Energy Association (VSEA) and the Climate Change Working Group to review the implementation of Decision No 11 and Circular No 16 on developing solar energy during the past year.

The Prime Minister’s Decision No 11 last year on encouraging the development of solar power provides for various incentives to investors.

MoIT’s Circular 16 regulates development of solar power projects and standardises power purchase agreements for solar projects.

Việt Nam is a country with huge solar potential, but the biggest project so far only has a capacity of 1.06MWp.

MoIT’s Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy said in the last one year investors proposed to set up 286 solar plants with a total capacity of around 19,300MWp.

They include plants with 4,250MWp capacity in Bình Thuận, 3,700MWp in Ninh Thuận and many others in provinces such as Đăk Lăk, Khánh Hòa, An Giang, Long An, Bến Tre, and Sóc Trăng.

Antoine Vander Elst of the EU Delegation to Việt Nam, said renewable technologies are nowadays more reliable and cheaper than fossil fuel technologies, especially taking into consideration things like climate change, environmental protection and health.

“Renewable energy contributes to enhancing energy security and provides lot of job opportunities.”

Thanks to the extensive development of renewables in Europe and elsewhere, production costs have decreased dramatically in the last few years, he said.

The EU has 2.2 million people working in the renewable energy sector, spread over 90,000 enterprises across 28 countries, he said.

Trần Phước Hiền of the Quãng Ngãi Province Department of Industry and Trade said there are still many shortcomings in implementing the decision and circular related to land acquisition and compensation, tax regulations, setting up projects in mountainous areas, lack of investment, and co-ordination between various departments and sectors.

Some experts expressed fears that climate change could affect weather patterns making rooftop solar power unreliable.

Delegates discussed how to draw up an efficient solar energy policy in the country, and suggested adjustments to Decision 11 with respect to tax on rooftop solar power panels.

The workshop, part of activities during the 3rd Renewable Energy Week from August 21 to 26, is one of five major events being held in Hà Nội, HCM City and Cần Thơ, while there are also 18 other smaller events across the country.

The annual event aims to raise public awareness of the feasibility and benefits of renewable energy and call for concrete actions, and launch the “Million Green Houses for Vietnam’s Prosperity” concept.

Đặng Quốc Toản, director of GreenAsia, said HCM City is expected to lead in developing the concept. — VNS

Cần Thơ is one of the localities in Việt Nam with huge potential to produce solar energy. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngọc Hà