Renewable energy sources not fully exploited: experts
The potential of renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar power, is one of the keys to Vietnam’s energy transformation towards carbon neutrality, but the obstacles resulting from the insensitivity of the transmission network and the mechanism pricing waste the capacity of billions of kWh of electricity, according to experts.
Le Thanh Thanh, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Soc Trang, said: “The province has planned to develop 20 wind farms, including 18 wind farms with investment certificates with a total capacity of 1,345 MW and two parks under study”.
Among 18 farms, 11 projects started construction in 2020 with a total capacity of 496.4 MW. As of October 31, 2021, the last day of the FIT price, four farms have been put into commercial operation, he said, adding that other projects were also completed but could not be connected to the grid because the FIT pricing mechanism had expired.
Thanh told local media, “The province still has many places that could develop farms. 2045) be approved to have a basis for proposing a new project.”
In the southernmost province of Ca Mau, People’s Committee Chairman Huynh Quoc Viet said, “Ca Mau has 16 wind farms with a capacity of 1,000 MW. In which, 12 projects have obtained investment certificates and five investors have implemented their projects. , but only three have been connected to the national grid to ensure commercial operation with a total capacity of only 100 MW by the FIT deadline. »
Viet said, “As a locality with high wind power development potential, the province has proposed to add 24 wind power projects with a capacity of 12,018 MW to the national energy development plan. However, we still have to wait for PDP VIII to be approved.”
According to Vietnam Electricity (EVN), by the end of October 31, 2021, the final deadline for the recognition of commercial operation projects and for the projects to benefit from the support price (FIT) under Decision No. 39/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister, 84/146 wind projects had signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) with EVN, for a total capacity of nearly 4,000 MW.
Thus, 62 projects with a total capacity of 4,170 MW which also had PPA contracts with EVN, but due to slow progress, could not be put into commercial operation in time. Many projects have completed the construction and installation of equipment, but could not be commercially operated due to the end of the FIT pricing mechanism, EVN said.
International energy organizations have calculated the potential of solar power in the country at 434 GW, including onshore solar power with 309 GW, offshore solar power with 77 GW and rooftop solar power with 48 GW .
According to the government’s incentive mechanism, more than 16,400 MW of solar power sources have been commissioned, including 7,755 MW of rooftop solar power sources since 2019, most of them concentrated in southern regions. and from the center.
As Vietnam tries to develop solar power, the pace of project development is faster than that of transmission infrastructure.
As a result, the power industry temporarily suspended the connection of new projects and reduced the capacity of the two projects.
According to EVN, in 2021, the untapped electricity production from the aforementioned renewable energy sources, which increased to 1.68 billion kWh of which 1.25 billion kWh was from solar energy, had to be reduced by 430 million kWh according to the EVN program.
Experts see the growing untapped production of renewable energy sources as “a huge waste” as other thermal energy sources are scarce and the price of electricity rises.