Vietnam has a significant challenge ahead: power its remarkable economic growth with less polluting and more affordable clean energy. This is no small task. According to the Vietnam Business Forum, the country’s current energy plan would increase coal use from 14 gigawatts (GW) to 55GW by 2030 and require 10 million tons of coal to be imported every year from 2017 onward.
Yet the government is increasingly invested in changing this trajectory, recently committing to reduce its emissions up to 25 per cent from business-as-usual levels by 2030, in part by generating 18,000 megawatts (MW) of power from wind and solar. The private sector, too, is increasingly willing to support the country’s clean energy and greenhouse gas commitments. Vietnam today is a dynamic place where business and government could chart an unprecedented shift toward towards clean energy—if they can address some key barriers.