- Vietnam’s NLDC has decided against approving any solar or wind energy facilities in 2022
- Grid constraint is cited as the reason for this as the country struggles to accommodate the existing high amount of renewables added in recent years
- Stabilizing the power system in real time with renewables is turning out to be a challenge for the authorities here
Citing insufficient input facilities to transfer renewable energy to the grid, Vietnam’s National Load Dispatch Center (NLDC) does not want to add any more wind and solar power capacity to the national plan in 2022, according to state backed daily Vietnam News.
NLDC Deputy Director Nguyen Quoc Trung was quoted as stating that the country’s power grid has suffered with the amount of renewable energy sources commissioned in recent years, not to miss the challenge of stabilizing the power system in real time.
The development comes after 365 million kWh of solar power was curtailed in 2020 to avoid straining the transmission and grid infrastructure, and the plan was to increase the amount to 1.3 billion kWh in 2021, as per local media reports. Notably, driven by favorable feed-in-tariff (FIT) policies Vietnam’s grid-connected 4.46 GW solar power capacity by June 30, 2019.
Rooftop solar addition was also aggressive thanks again to high FIT rates that pushed up the installed capacity of this segment till January 5, 2021 to over 9.5 GW, making it the third largest solar market in the world in 2020. However, as the government realized the pressure on the grid, it opted to cut down the FIT with the result that there has been no addition since then in this category, as per the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) (see Vietnam To Slash FIT Rates For Rooftop Solar Projects).
According to Trung, the total electricity produced and imported, including rooftop solar, in 2022 is expected to add up to 275.5 billion kWh, increasing from 7.9% on annual basis. Barring new solar and wind power capacity, the country’s grid is getting ready to accept 3.4 GW of new power from traditional energy generation sources.
Rainer Brohm, an independent renewable energy consultant based out of Germany with expertise in the Vietnamese market, in his recent analysis of the Vietnamese solar and wind market shared that under the country’s draft Power Development Plan (PDP) 8, solar output is aimed to increase to between 18 GW to 20 GW by 2030. By 2045, it should increase to 55 GW to 72 GW. At the end of 2020, Vietnam had installed 11.6 GW, according to SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook 2021-2025.
Meanwhile, the influx of solar power companies to Vietnam continues with Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power, Japan’s Osaka Gas, Spain’s Iberdrola, Spain based EDP Renewables announcing investments here in recent times (see Iberdrola Enters Vietnam Renewables Market Via Acquisition).