Photo: Duc Anh
Government to outline incentive options for PM's consideration as interest in solar power investments continues to rise.
The Vietnamese Government plans to develop solar power and discuss incentives to encourage solar energy projects in the country.
Discussions over incentives will take place before a submission is made to the Prime Minister for approval.
Increasing numbers of investors are expressing an interest in solar power in Vietnam, after Vietnam's first - the Thien Tan Group's project in central Quang Ngai province with investment of VND826 billion ($37.1 million).
Leaders in central Quang Nam province met recently with Royale Star Holdings Pte., Ltd from Singapore regarding a solar power investment plan for the province. Last year Royale Star and Russia’s Arman Holding Wordwide Group cooperated with Vietnam Natural Energy Development Investment Joint Stock Company to build a solar power plant in the province with total investment capital of $140 million and capacity of 100 MW.
Two other companies from the UK, G.T & Associates and Marshall & Street Ltd, last year proposed a solar power plant in Quang Nam province with investment of about $225 million.
Quang Ngai province, meanwhile, has allowed the UK’s Kimin Power Co. to study an investment in a solar energy plant with a capacity of 150 MW on an area of about 250 ha.
In recent years Vietnam has attracted a lot of investors in solar power, such as Hanwha Solar from South Korea with a $200 million investment in central Thua Thien Hue province and Solar Park from South Korea with a $600 million project in north-central Ha Tinh province. India’s Tata Power Co., is also seeking investment opportunities in solar and wind power in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang province and south-central Ninh Thuan province.
Electricity supply from renewable sources
Source: Power Development Master Plan VII
The Thien Tan Group is also planning to invest in the largest solar power project ever in Vietnam. The project has expected investment capital of $2 billion with a capacity of 1,000 MW and is located in Ninh Thuan province. Thien Tan Solar is to have five plants. Construction of the first will begin this year, with a capacity of 50 MW. By 2020 the group will finish all five plants.
During the visit to Vietnam by US President Barack Obama in May this year, Thien Tan signed an agreement worth tens of millions of dollars with the US’s First Solar Corporation to buy solar panels.
According to investors, solar energy will play an important role in reducing the pressure on power supply during peak periods in Vietnam, which is from 9.30am to 11.30 am daily. The price of solar power is even lower than the price of electricity from small hydropower plants in peak hours, which are currently 12.38 US cents per kWh while the retail price from EVN during peak hour averages 14.4 cents per kWh.
Under the national plan outlined by the government, the total capacity of hydropower projects will be 21,600 MW by 2020 and 27,800 MW by 2030, increasing from 17,000 MW now.
The total capacity of wind power projects will be increased from 140 MW to 800 MW by 2020 and to 6,000MW by 2030. Solar capacity, meanwhile, is to rise from 850MW to 4,000 MW by 2020 and 12,000 MW by 2030.