Vietnam has significant renewable energy potential, particularly in wind power, and has made impressive steps to realize this in recent years. Vietnam’s solar sector has also recently exploded, hitting its solar target six years ahead of schedule and overtaking Thailand as the largest solar market in South East Asia. 

As Vietnam prepares its Power Development Plan VIII, this Energy Transition Dialogue will mobilize the technical expertise and international finance to support Vietnam to develop its long-term energy planning and smart green grids, so that it can achieve its target of 30% of power from renewables by 2030 and to go further in a faster transition from coal to clean power that delivers energy security and economic growth. 

The Dialogue brought together policymakers from EVN and MOIT, investors, financial and technical leadership in the power sector to work together to accelerate the transition from coal to clean power as part of a green economic recovery. 

Participating as a renewable energy developer, Mr. Mark Shorrock, CEO of Shire Oak International, spoke at the Dialogue. He, along with other developers, inquired about the support for future development.

“Will there be a new feed-in tariff to drive more rooftop solar projects in Vietnam in the next six to nine months?”, Mr. Shorrock asked.

Previously, there was a FiT (Feed-in tariff) to support the growth of renewables, including rooftop solar. The FiT for rooftop solar ceased by the end of 2020, which left many developers wondering if there will be another one coming. 

“The matter is still under discussion. We are thinking about setting a new fixed price, possibly with additional rules applied”, explained Mr. Nguyễn Minh Hải, Director of Renewable Energy Division of The Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority of Vietnam (EREA).

Next, regarding the recent decision by the Vietnamese government that limits rooftop solar capacity to lessen the stress on the national power grid, Mr. Mark suggested: “Will you raise capacity limits in areas that are experiencing power shortage like the North?”

To which, Mr. Hải confirmed that the request was not feasible at the moment due to technical limitations and other safety matters.

Unlike rooftop solar, which seems to be receiving less support, offshore wind is being seriously considered for its large potential. 

Additionally, the development of coal and gas may continue to grow in the coming years, but that is not set in stone. “Look at the drastic change in the UK. They achieved that ideal energy mix in such a short time”, said Mr. Tran Dang Khoa, Director of Power Market of EVN.