Vietnam Offers Higher Solar Power Payments in Cloudy Regions

Published onFebruary 7, 2019

Solar investors in Vietnam could be encouraged to eye even the cloudiest corners of the country because of a government plan to base what it pays for solar-generated electricity largely on where the power originates. A Ministry of Industry and Trade proposal, which is open for public comment until Feb. 20, offers higher feed-in tariffs for those who generate solar power in the north, where the weather fluctuates most, followed by the central region, and then finally the sunny south. The rates, paid by the state utility Electricity Vietnam (EVN) for those adding solar power to the electricity grid, also would differ depending on the technology. Ranked from the highest fees to the lowest, the technologies are: household solar panels, floating solar power projects, and ground projects with a capacity of more than 1 megawatt-peak. The tariffs ranging from 6.59 to 9.85 U.S. cents per kilowatt-hour would apply starting July 1. That compares with the current fixed rate of 9.35 cents. Vietnam’s bid to incentivize a more even distribution of solar investment across the tropical country could make land acquisition easier by pushing companies toward new areas, said environmental economist Le Viet Phu.