Vietnam yet to optimize renewable energy utilization as shortages loom

Vietnam is struggling to fully utilize the potential of renewable energy because of policy roadblocks even though power shortages are expected in upcoming years.

In the central province of Ninh Thuan, one of the solar power hotspots in the country, nine of 15 operating solar projects are running at just 30-60 percent of their maximum capacity, according to the province’s Department of Industry and Trade.

The reason for this is that Vietnam’s transmission lines are not capable of loading a surge in output from renewable plants. As many as 91 solar farms began operating in the country last year after the government offered an attractive incentive tariff rate, causing some transmission lines to operate at up to 360 percent of their safe capacity limit.

A transmission infrastructure upgrade is needed, but the government’s monopoly in power distribution has created challenges for private companies in installing transmission lines, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh had conceded earlier.

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Dat Nguyen