Vietnam wants private electricity grid investment

A lack of electricity transmission grids is preventing renewable energy projects from generating at maximum capacity.

Vietnam wants private electricity grid investment

As of June 30, about 4,900 MW of renewable energy was generated but only 30 to 40 per cent of which was connected to the national electricity system. — Photo anhsangvacuocsong.vn

A lack of electricity transmission grids is preventing renewable energy projects from generating at maximum capacity.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), there are 120 renewable energy power projects in operation and more than 200 pending-for-approval projects.

As of June 30, about 4,900 MW of renewable energy was generated but only 30 to 40 per cent of which was connected to the national electricity system.

Le Hai Dang, Head of Strategy Department in Vietnam Electricity (EVN) said: “This causes a huge waste as Viet Nam is facing an electricity shortage.” Dang clarified that in the first ten months of this year, renewable energy in the whole system grew six times higher than the same period last year and higher than what was forecast for the whole of 2019.

He said the power sector wanted to mobilise the maximum capacity of 79 solar and wind power plants including 19 projects in the provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

However, he said currently, renewable energy plants in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan Provinces were operating under capacity because they were connected on a single-circuit 110 kV transmission line from Thap Cham – Phan Ri – Dai Ninh with the maximum transmission capacity of about 230 MW, or 35 per cent of the installed capacity of the projects.

Another matter, according to Dang, was the different timing for investment and construction of renewable energy plants and electricity grid projects.

While a plant was often invested and constructed in a short period from six to 12 months, invested and constructed time of a transmission grid project was of two or three years.

 

Pham Van Hau, Vice Chairman of Ninh Thuan People's Committee, said more than half of renewable energy projects in this province had to reduce the generating capacity by more than 60 per cent. Hau added: “If the situation continues, the damage in the last six months of 2019 could reach VND500 billion (US$21.57 million).”

He said this made investors in renewable power projects reconsider in his province.

Nguyen Huu Vinh, General Director of Ha Do Ninh Thuan Joint Stock Company told the Dau Thau newspaper that besides 14 renewable energy projects, his firm wanted to invest more but they are concerned because of the lack of a transmission grid.

Acknowledging the issue, relevant officials have considered private sector's investment as a solution.

At the 8th Session of the 14th National Assembly last month, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung mentioned the investment for power transmission grids.

He believed the Electricity Law gives a state monopoly on power transmission, not on the investment in building the transmission lines. — VNS

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