While the Covid-19 pandemic is turning the world upside down, the renewable energy industry, including solar power, is somehow able to take advantage of this seemingly unfavorable situation, especially in Vietnam. Social distancing in the country is driving up electricity consumption with bills increase accordingly.

In May 2020, the Vietnamese government announced a significant reduction in plans to develop coal-fired power plants, turning its focus to solar and wind power. Back in 2019, Vietnam made heads turn with the announcement of expanding solar capacity to 10 times within only 1 year.

CNBC quoted a report from Wood Mackenzie organization that claimed Vietnam’s total solar capacity reached 5.5 gigawatts (GW) in 2019, accounting for 44% of the total solar power capacity in Southeast Asia. This makes Vietnam the leader in the region’s solar market and market leader. Previously, Vietnam could only produce 0.144 GW in 2018.

On 24 June 2020, during his visit to Shire Oak International in Ho Chi Minh City, British Ambassador in Vietnam, Gareth Ward, acknowledged the country’s progress so far: “Vietnam is poised to be a leader of the sustainable energy transition in South East Asia. The UK, especially UK businesses in Vietnam like Shire Oak International, is committed to supporting Vietnam in addressing climate change and reaching its green energy targets.”

“We are working to improve our environmental policies to support Vietnam. This includes reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency for Vietnamese factories, as well as developing new energy industries like wind and solar energy, which Vietnam has great potential. We will also share our expertise and encourage more UK companies and investors to come to Vietnam.”

“About 5 years ago, renewable energy was more expensive than traditional energy. But now the cost of renewable energy is simmering down thanks to technology advancements and economic growth, while the cost of traditional energy like coal is rising. Coal is significantly costlier because of other costs for matters like environmental pollution and carbon emissions. In the long term, renewable energy is not only cleaner but also cheaper than traditional energy. Therefore, Vietnam shall be rewarded with many opportunities after the country overcomes financial damages caused by Covid-19, building a green economy, and effective again “, the British Ambassador in Vietnam shared.

Shire Oak International, a pioneer in renewable energy in the UK and Europe, is focusing on tapping the Vietnamese market. According to Borries Plass, CEO of Shire Oak International, the trend of switching from conventional energy to renewable energy in Vietnam is similar to what the UK had about 30 years ago.

Mr. Borries Plass said: “Solar energy is free because the sunlight in Vietnam is plentiful, which is ideal for electricity production. The customer can then use it for manufacturing purposes. By using this power source, partners will see a 15% cut in bills compared to the standard power source provided by EVN, which makes buying electricity more appealing than ever. They can even sell electricity to the grid.”

Shire Oak International is working hard to increase solar power capacity throughout Vietnam by supplying and installing rooftop solar systems.

The new rooftop solar tariff now stands at VNĐ 1,940 ($0.0838) for each kWh generated. This is a 10% discount compared to previous tariff prices and will support the development of renewable energy throughout Vietnam.

One of Shire Oak International’s largest projects is the interior design and construction company, BOHO Décor. The 998 kW rooftop solar system helps prevent 863 tons of Carbon Dioxide (Co2) emissions every year, which is equivalent to the emissions created by 186 passenger cars driving every day for a year.

Commenting on his company’s rooftop solar system, BOHO Décor’s Operations Director, Nguyen Minh Hoang, said: “Shire Oak International (SOI) provided us with an ideal solution. During the construction phase of our factory, we thought about how we could play a part in preserving Long An’s environment. SOI helped us do just that. Their solar system reduces our energy cost while causing no harm to the environment. We are very happy to see our electricity bills decreased by about 15%. Also, the fact that our factory’s temperature during operation is lower by 5 to 7 degrees Celcius, while easily overlooked, pleased us greatly.”

The Vietnamese Government has set to source 20% of national electricity capacity from renewable energy by 2030, which contains 12GW of solar power.

Source: Thanh Nien