Vietnam Accelerates The Move From Costly Fossil Fuels To Renewables

National Economy

The population of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is approximately 99.40 million people[1]. In 2021, 100% of the people in this Southeast Asian country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Vietnam’s economy was ranked 45th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of broadcasting equipment, telephones, integrated circuits, footwear, office machine parts, coconuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Vietnam signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to an 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

In 2019, the Vietnamese government initiate a program[6] to increase electricity generation from renewable energy from 58 Billion kWh in 2015 to 186 Billion kWh by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, state-owned Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) used coal (46.6 %),  renewable energy (42.6 %), natural gas (10.7 %), and oil (0.1 %) to generate electricity in Vietnam[7]. Hydropower and solar were the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Vietnam.

Recent renewable energy projects in Vietnam include:

  • 4,000 MW Offshore Wind Project – American utility, AES Corporation is continuing work on an offshore wind project off the coast of Binh Thuan province.
  • 831 MW Solar Project – In November 2020, the Vietnamese energy consortium, Xuan Thien Group commissioned the first phase of the Xuan Thien Ea Sup solar project, which is located in Đắk Lắk province.
  • 450 MW Solar Project – In October 2020, the Vietnamese construction company, Trungnam Groupcommissioned the Trung Nam Thuan Nam solar plant, which is located in Ninh Thuan
  • 90 MW Wind Project – In October 2021, Irish renewable energy developer, Mainstream Renewable Power commissioned the Thai Hoa wind farm, located in Binh Thuan province.
  • 75 MW Wind Project – In October 2021, Mainstream Renewable Power commissioned the Tan Thuan wind farm, located in Ca Mau province.
  • 70 MW Floating Solar Projects – In December 2020, Vietnamese power company, Toji Group commissioned two 35 MW floating solar projects on two separate lakes, in Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu province.

Conclusions

In 1975, Petro Vietnam[8] made the first major natural gas discovery in Vietnam. In 2020, Vietnam was a major importer of all fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas).

In 2020, Vietnam spent[9] U.S. $3.94 Billion for imported refined petroleum, U.S. $3.43 Billion for imported crude oil, U.S. 123.4 Million for imported coal, and U.S. 11.2 Million for imported natural gas.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in the United States, Canada, and the European Union placing embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil and natural gas increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Vietnam has experienced economic growth and prosperity over the last twenty years. The nation’s future prosperity will require a significant reduction in expensive, imported fossil fuels.

Vietnam has significant renewable energy resources, including offshore wind, solar, hydropower, onshore wind, and biomass. Vietnam is now accelerating the move from costly fossil fuels to low-cost, green renewable energy.

 

Jack Kerfoot

www.jackkerfoot.com

Our Energy Conundrum

 Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Vietnam Population (2022) –  November 11, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Vietnam”

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Vietnam

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] McKinsey & Company, “Vietnam’s Renewable Energy Future” by Matt Rogers, May 1, 2019

[7] Our World In Data, Vietnam: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[8] Petro Vietnam, Vietnam Oil and Gas Group

[9] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Vietnam Imports

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