The Central Highlands is not only the capital for bauxite and industrial crops, but its potential for renewable energy development is also huge.

Dak Lak and Dak Nong are two provinces of the Central Highlands that are home to many wind power projects. At an investment promotion conference in Dak Lak in 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said that Dak Lak has arid, sunny and windy lands with high solar radiation sources, causing difficulties for agricultural - forestry production but a great advantage for renewable energy.

In March 2019, the Serepok solar power project cluster in Ea Wer commune, Buon Don district was inaugurated after six months of construction. Each year this solar power cluster will supply the national grid with about 150 million kWh, contributing about VND 300 billion to the state budget. Thus, each hectare of barren land in this district will bring in revenue of nearly VND 3 billion per year.

According to a survey of Dak Lak province, this locality has good conditions to develop solar power up to 16,000MWP. Currently, 32 solar power projects have been established and applied for investment policies, of which five projects have been approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Along with the development of solar energy, wind energy in Dak Lak also has potential. The first project has been implemented in Dlie Yang commune, Ea H'leo district with a capacity of 436MW, and capital investment of about VND 13,000 billion.

At the investment promotion conference in March 2019, Dak Lak authorities and investors signed memorandums of understanding to implement five wind and solar power projects, with a total capacity of 641 MW, and a total investment of nearly VND21 trillion. 

Dak Lak's neighbor, Dak Nong province, last year achieved the highest budget revenue since its establishment thanks to wind power projects.

Since October 2020, six wind power projects have been approved by the People's Committee of Dak Nong Province for investment policy. These are the first wind power projects in the province, with a total capacity of 430 MW, all deployed in Dak Song district.

According to Dak Nong province, its total revenue reached more than VND3,000 billion in 2021, the highest ever since its establishment in 2004 despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Dak Song district, for many years, budget revenue has been mainly from agriculture. The district's annual budget is about VND100 billion, while if only the three wind power projects are put into operation, they can pay VND300 billion/year to the budget.

In addition, these projects will contribute to stimulating demand for the service sector, because a large number of workers will come to the district to work.

The rise of the Central region

The resolution of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee set a target to become an energy center in the central region by 2030. In 2021, the province's budget revenue reached over VND 5,500 billion, exceeding the plan by over VND 1,500 billion. This unprecedented miracle in this sunny and windy land had an important contribution from wind power.

In addition to their contribution to the state budget, wind power projects have built 80km of inter-commune roads and roads leading to the project, which also benefit locals. These projects have also contributed to building welfare works.

In 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Trade approved wind power development planning in Quang Tri province to 2020, with a vision to 2030, with four projects totaling 110MW. To fully exploit its potential and advantages, the province has proposed to the Government to supplement the planning with 84 wind power projects, totaling over 4,030MW. Of them, 31 projects have been approved for planning, with a total capacity of over 1,177MW and 53 projects with a total capacity of over 2,853MW have been submitted to the Ministry for consideration.

Of the 31 approved projects for planning, two projects with a capacity of 60MW have become operational and 25 projects with a capacity of 987.2MW have been granted an investment policy by the local government and are under construction.

Luong Bang - Kien Trung