Vietnam’s coal-powered future could be dangerous

Published onFebruary 22, 2018

With an economy that’s rapidly growing, 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. Vietnam has already made moves to meet the growing demand for energy in the country, namely by utilizing coal power. 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 Danish Energy Agency, states that electricity demand is expected to grow 8% annually until 2035.

Vietnam is looking to coal to power its growing energy demands. Currently, the use of coal in the region is already quite substantial. According to the same energy outlook report, from 2000 to 2015, the biomass and hydro share of the total primary energy supply has dropped to 24% from 53% while coal share grew from 14% to 35% of the total supply. As 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, Vietnam is planning to increase its coal use in the coming years.