Vietnam’s renewable energy yet to get wind in its sails

Published onJune 28, 2018

Vietnam is far away from realizing its short and medium term wind power goals, with no ready solution in sight to several impediments, experts say. The target of 800 and 6,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020 and 2030 looks beyond reach. They said at a recent conference on wind energy development in Vietnam that high interest rates, low selling prices and inadequate power purchase agreements from the investors’ point of view were major stumbling blocks to realizing set targets. Vietnam plans to produce 800 megawatts of wind energy by 2020 and 6,000 megawatts by 2030. However, the country has just 7 functioning wind energy projects with a total capacity of 190 megawatts, noted Nguyen Van Thanh from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Tran Vinh Thong, technical officer for wind energy firm Thuan Binh, which is currently investing in the Phu Lac wind energy project in southern Binh Thuan Province, said the project’s initial cost was VND1.1 trillion ($49 million) and it generated an annual revenue of about VND100 billion, of which VND70-80 billion goes for just interest payments. “We only have VND20-30 billion left each year to pay our employees’ salaries and meet maintenance costs,” he said. Low electricity selling prices are also an issue, Thong added.