Renewable energy market picks up as many projects put on sale
As wind and solar power project developers now can enjoy a high FIT (feed in tariff) price, investors are registering more projects to resell for profit.
Many offers to sell power projects can be found on a well-known real estate trading website.
“A solar power project in Binh Thuan province, 45 hectares, with legal procedures completed and electricity sale contract”, or “5MW solar power project. VND18.5 billion per MW” were two of the ads on the website.
Many offers to sell power projects can be found on real estate trading websites.
An expert from the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA) said there are many ‘surfing investors’, i.e. investors who just register investment projects and fulfill administrative procedures to resell to real investors for profits.
“Surfing investors don’t have deep understanding about renewable energy or don’t have sufficient financial capability, but they can get licenses for projects and resell the registered projects for money,” he explained.
It is not easy to stop this practice because the current laws don’t prohibit the transfer of power projects. If the state is determined to prohibit the trading, it will have to set higher requirements on investors’ capability.
However, if so, investors will complain about complicated procedures and this will be contrary to the government’s policy on simplifying procedures.
|There are many ‘surfing investors’, i.e. investors who just register investment projects and fulfill administrative procedures to resell to real investors for profits.|
Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper quoted a private investor as saying that he has withdrawn capital from a wind power project in the south after realizing that the project will not become operational prior to the year-end.
“Covid-19 will hinder the project implementation. So, withdrawing money to inject into other projects is be the best solution,” he explained.
“The other investor of the project later cooperated with a foreign investor to implement the project. They are making every effort to speed up construction,” he said.
According to Nguyen Thanh Son, former director of Song Hong Energy, investors are trading renewable energy projects because the government now offers to buy electricity from the projects at high prices.
The current selling price applied to solar power projects is 9.35 cent per kwh, or VND2,086, while the average electricity retail price is VND1,864.4 per kwh.
The current price at which the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) buys from wind power projects is 8.5 cent per kwh (onshore projects) and 9.8 cent (offshore).
The 9.35 cent per kwh price is also higher than the ceiling price applied to imported electricity from Laos, at 6.95 per kwh.
Son said it is necessary to stop the uncontrolled transfer of renewable energy projects by applying bidding methods and setting limits for the project implementation time.
The rush for renewable energy
Investment of billions of dollars into renewable energy has been a frequent topic of discussion at recent shareholders’ meetings of power companies.
Challenges hinder development of renewable energy
Renewable energy has emerged as one of the most preferred sectors for investment in Vietnam,but the development of such projects has been hampered by a number of challenges, according to a survey by Grant Thornton,