The central province of Ninh Thuan aims to become the renewable-energy centre of the country, with assistance from the central government's preferential policies.
Bui Nhat Quang, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, said the development of renewable energy such as wind and solar energy has become a necessity in a time of depleting natural resources such as fossil fuels.
Quang spoke at a conference on renewable energy held in the province last Friday.
Experts noted that the province should be careful about building too many wind and solar power plants as they could overwhelm the transmission capacity of the existing national grid in the province.
To solve the problem, the Government should build more 220-500KV transmission lines and stations to serve wind and solar power plants in the province, they said.
Dr Nguyen Tat Thang, of the National Economics University, said Ninh Thuan should also seek more investment capital, land and human resources to develop the projects.
The Government and the Ministry of Industry and Trade have approved 30 solar power projects in the province with total capacity of more than 1,800MW and total registered capital of over VND50 trillion (US$2.13 billion).
Blessed with abundant sunshine and wind all year round, Ninh Thuan Province is currently home to 25 solar power projects.
The province has a high level of sunshine hours (2,467) per year and solar radiation per square metre (1,700kWh), making it ideal for solar energy projects.
Under Ninh Thuan’s green energy plan, by 2030 the province is expected to reach a total capacity of 1,500MW in wind energy and 3,912MW in solar energy.
To attract more renewable energy projects, provincial authorities are offering incentive policies to investors.
For example, renewable energy investors enjoy a waiver of land-lease fees for the entire project’s lifetime, as well as corporate-tax exemption for the first four years and a corporate tax rate of 10 per cent for the next nine years, half the standard rate. The import tax for procurement of fixed assets in renewable projects will also be reduced to zero.
However, investment in renewable energy still faces challenges such as higher costs, complex technology, and legal bottlenecks, according to energy experts.
Pham Van Hau, vice chairman of Ninh Thuan People’s Committee, said the provincial People’s Committee would continue to direct its agencies to work with investors to settle problems related to land clearance and business procedures.
When wind and solar energy projects begin commercial production, they will not only provide significant contributions to Viet Nam’s energy security, but also contribute to local socio-economic development, he said.
Ninh Thuan leads the country in developing renewable energy, with a total of eight wind and solar power projects already in commercial operation.
In January, the BP Solar 1 solar power plant opened in the province, becoming the first Vietnamese-built solar power project to be connected to the national grid.
The project, including transmission lines and transformation stations, is expected to generate 74.45 million KWh per year. — VNS