BNN Bloomberg: solar surges in Vietnam

Solar power in Vietnam has experienced a 100-fold increase over the past two years, according to BNN Bloomberg, Canada's business news network reporting on finance and markets.
May 21, 2021 | 14:17
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Solar power panels at the BIM Solar Power Complex in Ninh Thuan Province, central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Solar power panels at the BIM Solar Power Complex in Ninh Thuan province, central Vietnam. Photo: VnExpress

In a recent article, BNN Bloomberg said the Southeast Asian nation now ranks seventh in the world in terms of capacity, according to clean energy research group BloombergNEF, and in 2020 the only countries that installed more solar panels were the US and China.

I have never seen a country explode like this in solar,” Logan Knox, Chief Executive of Vietnam operations of UPC Renewables, which builds and operates wind and solar farms across Asia. “It’s almost unbelievable.”

Vietnam is an encouraging sign that global efforts to discourage the use of fossil fuels and boost the accessibility of clean alternatives are bearing fruit, the article said.

What Vietnam’s solar boom shows is how much capacity you can build in a short period of time,” said Caroline Chua, a BNEF analyst.

The government turned to the solar industry a few years ago as a growing number of power shortages threatened to sap its economic momentum. Years of rapid growth meant surging electricity demand from factories built by multinational giants including Samsung Electronics Co. and suppliers for Apple Inc.

Vietnam now ranks seventh in the world in terms of capacity, according to clean energy research group BloombergNEF. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam now ranks seventh in the world in terms of capacity, according to clean energy research group BloombergNEF. Photo: VNA

A plan to meet that with an ambitious fleet of coal power plants has fallen behind schedule, due in large part to push-back from local leaders concerned about air quality and financing difficulties as global banks stopped lending for the dirtiest energy source.

That same shift to clean energy needs to happen in more developing countries if emissions worldwide are to be zeroed out by mid-century—a timeline needed to avoid catastrophic global warming, the article noted.

Vietnam has potential to become renewable energy superpower

Vietnam invested $7.4 billion in solar and wind power last year, ranking 8th on the list of renewable energy investments the world over.

Weert Börner, deputy ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Vietnam, was cited by VnExpress as saying that Vietnam has the potential to become a renewable energy superpower.

BNN Bloomberg: solar surges in Vietnam
Vietnam invested $7.4 billion in solar and wind power last year. Photo: VNA

Börner said China was the leading country in renewable energy investment in 2020, with $83.6 billion, followed by the U.S. with $49.3 billion.

Vietnam ranked 8th on the list with $7.4 billion, above France and Germany.

He said the world was experiencing an energy shift towards renewable energy to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and Vietnam can become a renewable energy superpower in the future, producing solar, wind and biomass energy.

Nguyen Duc Hien, deputy head of the Central Economic Committee, affirmed that Vietnam was targeting sustainable energy development and environmental protection in its socioeconomic development plans.

The country plans to have renewable energy account for 25-30 percent of total energy production by 2045, he said.

Vietnam’s solar and wind power generation in the first quarter of this year rose 181 percent year-on-year to 7.79 billion kilowatt-hours. This accounted for 13 percent of total power generation, behind coal-fired power at nearly 50 percent and hydropower at 23 percent, according to a recent report by national utility Vietnam Electricity./.

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