Vietnam eyes green power, not to sacrifice environment for growth

Published onJanuary 17, 2019

The government Thursday reaffirmed Vietnam’s desire for a greener energy mix amid the risk of a power deficiency. Environment-friendly coal- and gas-fueled and renewable power plants would make up the mix. While Vietnam faces “obvious risks of an energy shortage in the coming years … it will not sacrifice the environment for economic growth,” Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said in a meeting with the state-run Vietnam Electricity (EVN), the country’s largest power producer and monopoly distributor. Coal-fired power is vital to energy security, but “it must be clean,” he noted. Dung asked EVN to pioneer the use of modern technologies to reduce the environmental footprint of new coal-fired plants and handle the cinder and ash at existing plants. The country faces difficulty in increasing power generation since it has decided to put nuclear power on hold, many coal-fired plants are behind schedule and renewables could not be developed on a large scale due to “high costs” and transmission limitations.