Vietnam’s coal-powered future could be perilous

Published onMay 31, 2018

With a rapidly growing economy, Vietnam is facing an increase in energy demand. According to Vietnamese power company, Electricity of Vietnam, energy demand in the country is forecasted to grow 10% annually. Accounting for a significant chunk of the demand for energy is the demand for electricity. The Vietnam Energy Outlook Report 2017 released by the Vietnamese government in collaboration with the Danish Energy Agency, states that electricity demand is expected to grow 8% annually until 2035. With an increase in energy demand forecasted, it is vital that Vietnam consolidates its energy sectors to generate more power. At the moment, Vietnam is looking to expand its coal sector to meet the growing energy demand…

…while Vietnam looks to develop its coal sector, more and more countries are starting to ditch coal and move to greener or less-damaging resources such as natural gas or renewables such as solar power and wind. The attractiveness of coal to Vietnam is probably due to its affordability. However, Vietnam has been facing a backlash for its plans to increase the use of coal in the country. In the summer of 2016, World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim rebuked Vietnam for their coal plans. “If Vietnam goes forward with 40GW of coal, if the entire region implements their coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished,” said Jim Yong Kim.