Responding to the state’s call, private investors have poured money into renewable power projects, but problems remain.
The Binh Thuan Wind Energy Association (BTWEA) has sent a document to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), complaining that wind power plants in Binh Thuan province have had to cut capacity because of overloading of the power transmission line, which will break the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed previously between the plants and EVN.
According to the association, the electricity system regulation agency last July required wind and solar power plants to cut the electricity capacity provided to the national grid by 38-65 percent of designed capacity.
This caused losses to investors and waste to society because the generated electricity could not be consumed.
According to Ngo Duc Lam from the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, wind and power plants cannot sell electricity they put out because it is beyond the transmission line capacity.
The electricity system regulation agency last July required wind and solar power plants to cut the electricity capacity provided to the national grid by 38-65 percent of designed capacity.
The overloading of the transmission line was foreseeable. While electricity generation has been developing well, the electricity transmission sector hasn't developed at the same rate.
Most wind and solar power plants are located far from the center and large industrial parks. The electricity from the plants needs transmission systems to be provided to users.
The energy expert pointed out that when the power plants were built in Binh Thuan, involved parties did not think of the development of transmission lines. The two parties – investors and EVN - are to blame.
“When building the power plants, investors should have considered how they would transmit electricity. EVN should have warned investors about the situation of the transmission system,” he said.
In theory, power transmission lines will be built only when the number of operating power plants is clear. No one will build transmission lines if the electricity output is not high enough.
“As far as I know, EVN has reported to MOIT about the problem and the ministry has asked the government to allocate more capital to build the transmission line,” he said, adding that the government will have a working session with EVN, MOIT and investors to discuss the solutions.
However, he said, it won’t be simple to build the transmission system.The first thing that needs to be done is to arrange capital, but even if capital can be arranged soon, it will still be difficult to implement construction. The transmission lines will go across many localities.
Some experts have suggested calling for private investment in the electricity transmission sector. However, others argue that this is not feasible.
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