Central hydropower plants' reservoirs lack water
Many hydropower plant reservoirs in the central region are facing water shortages, impacting electricity generation and water reserves for the ongoing dry season from February until July.
|A Vuong Hydropower Plant's reservoir only stores about 30 per cent water as planned so far this year. —Photo nhandan.com.vn|
Greatly decreased rainfall compared to the annual average of previous years was blamed for the situation.
Statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment showed that the rainfall in the first six months of last year was 20-90 per cent lower than the annual average, while the rainfall in the last six months of last year was approximate with the annual average.
For example, the Ca River basin has faced drought for several months, Nhân dân (People) online newspaper reported.
In Nghe An Province, Ta Huu Hung, director of Ban Ve Hydropower Plant, said the amount of water flowing into the plant’s reservoir in the 2019 flood season, between August and January, was only 67 per cent of the annual average.
This resulted in a power shortage of 262 million kW hours last year compared to 2018, he said.
The reservoir only has about 1 billion cu.m of water, about 0.3 billion cu.m of water short of the target, he said.
Hua Na Hydropower Plant, the second-biggest hydropower plant in the province, faces the same problem. The water volume in its reservoir only reached about 60 per cent in 2019 compared to the annual average, causing a power shortage of about 16 per cent last year.
The reservoirs have also failed to store enough water for the dry season this year.
The provincial Natural Resources and Environment Department has forecast the amount of water flowing into Ca River’s basin from now to June will only reach 30-60 per cent as previously expected.
In Quang Nam Province, Le Dinh Ban, director of Song Bung Hydropower Plant, said the plant’s reservoir had only stored about 75 per cent of the water it needed.
In 2019, power generation only reached about 49 per cent of the goal.
Ngo Xuan The, deputy director of A Vuong Hydropower Plant, said the plant’s reservoir only stored about 30 per cent of the water it had planned to so far this year.
In response to the situation, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has ordered hydropower plants to cut water discharges to reserve water to combat the dry season and only generate electricity in rush hours to ensure energy security.
Recommendations to ensure electricity supply
In a related development, the National Steering Committee for Power Development issued a document on January 31 on solutions to ensure electricity supply for the next five years.
To reach the goals, the Electricity of Vietnam could consider hiring ships and barges to use as floating power plants to supply electricity in case southern thermal projects continue to be slowly implemented.
The committee said it saw such a move as an effective short-term and medium-term solution for countries with emergency power supplies.
The committee also proposed agencies put Duyen Hai 3 (expanded) Thermal Power Plant into operation in the first quarter this year and deal with the tardiness of Song Hau 1, Thai Binh 2 and Long Phu 1 thermal power projects.
The committee said the national electricity system needs nearly 14,500 MWp of solar power capacity and 6,000 MW of wind power by 2025 to ensure electricity supply.
Therefore, localities were told to create favourable conditions for investors to carry out solar and wind energy projects and encourage the development of solar energy, the committee added. — VNS
The drought in the dry season this year will be quite harsh and water shortage may occur in many places. The central region may face serious water shortage from June.
Installed power capacity has increased sharply in recent years, but Vietnam is still suffering from an electricity shortage.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has warned that northern localities are facing water shortages as reservoirs are drying up.