Will Vietnam’s new energy policy mark a turning point for coal?

Vietnam’s government faces crucial choices as it draws up a new national energy plan for 2021-2030. Due to be published this summer, the Power Development Plan 8 will provide a vision for power supply up to 2045. Experts are hoping that Vietnam will use the plan to further its position as a renewables leader in Southeast Asia, and provide clarity on the role of coal in meeting the country’s rapidly rising demand for electricity.

It has become regional leader in the past couple of years. Its installed capacity reached 5.5 gigawatts (GW) last year, accounting for 44% of Southeast Asia’s solar capacity, according to Reuters. It has already reached a solar power target it had set for 2025.

There is great potential for the development of wind power as well, with the minister of industry and trade, Tran Tuan Anh, stating in June that Vietnam plans to increase wind power by 7,000 MW to 11,630 MW by 2023 due to delays and opposition to coal plants.

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Michael Tatarski