Hydropower Vietnam has 2,400 rivers of 10 km or longer, indicating high potential for small- and large-scale hydro-electric power generation. The economic hydropower potential is estimated at 84 TWh/yr, which is in excess of the total electricity consumption of 67.9 TWh in 2008. Vietnam currently has five hydroelectric expansions under-way. The country’s Son La project, which began construction in late 2005, is anticipated to have a generating capacity of 2,400 MW by 2012, and will be the largest hydroelectric project in Vietnam, producing almost 10 billion kWh each year. Vietnam also plans to build three additional plants in the near future. In 2008, about one-third of generating capacity came from hydroelectric power (second after oil and gas). The potential generating capacity from hydropower in Vietnam is estimated to be around 800-1,400 MW.Vietnam’s economic potential for pumped storage hydro-electricity is over 10,000 MW. These resources are mainly located in the northern and southern areas. About 1050 potential sites for small sized hydropower, ranging from 0.1 to less than 30 MW, have been identified with a total capacity of 4,044.5 MW, equivalent to 16.7 million GWh/year. More than 200 plants have been realized and 800 more are planned. Provinces with strong potential are Son La (95 projects), Kontum (80 projects) and Lao Cai (80 projects).Geothermal energy With more than 300 hot streams from 30 °C to 148 °C, Vietnam is estimated to have 1,400 MW of suitable geothermal potential, for direct use and producing electricity. From this potential, 400 MW of could be developed for producing electricity by 2020. Several potential sites have been identified, with plant capacities ranging from 20 to 50 MW.Biomass energy Biomass resources that could be used for generating electricity include rice husks, paddy straw, bagasse (sugar cane, coffee husk, and coconut shell), and wood and plant residues, with an annual output of approximately 93 Mt, and an estimated potential of 1000-1600 MW. In addition, it is estimated that 25,000 household biogas digesters have been installed in the country since the 1960s. The livestock population is estimated at 30 million, although the lack of industrial-scale poultry or pig farming makes large-scale biogas production difficult. Despite this, biogas energy potential in Vietnam is estimated at 6.4 Mtoe/year. Rice husking plants in the Mekong Delta region could fuel a power station with a capacity of 70 MW, and waste materials from sugar cane could produce 250 MW. So far only 3 from 43 sugar plants supply surplus electricity to the power grid - about 50 MW in total. In 2005, the first 750 kW waste-to-power project was completed (US$16m, 60% funded by the Netherlands). Two additional turbines were commissioned in 2006, with the potential to generate about 250-400 MW in total. Municipal solid waste is also another potential source of energy for the country, with the Go Cat power station rated at 15.5 GWh for electricity production from solid wastes.Solar energy Vietnam lies from 23° to 8° North latitude, and has good constant solar sources, with roughly 2,000-2,500 hours of sunshine per year on average, with some regions receiving 5,000 sunshine hours per year. In the southern and central areas, solar radiation levels range from 4 to 5.9 kWh/m2/day, uniformly distributed throughout the year. The solar energy in the north is estimated to vary from 2.4 to 5.6 kWh/m2/day. Solar PV systems are currently installed in off-grid applications, e.g. telecommunications and rural health services. At present, the total installed capacity of solar photovoltaic systems in Vietnam is estimated at 1.5 MW, distributed evenly between rural consumers, telecommunications and marine communications facilities, with about 5,000 sites around the country using some form of solar power. The potential generating capacity of the off-grid solar photovoltaic systems is estimated at around 2 MW.Wind energy With a coastline of 3,000 km, and average wind speeds of 5.6 m/s in coastal regions, and up to 8 m/s on certain islands, the potential for wind power generation is high. Wind density varies by area: estimated values of 800-1,400 kWh/m2/year on islands and of 500-1,000 kWh/m2/year in the Central Highlands, coastal areas of Central Vietnam and the Mekong Delta are considered feasible. Total potential of wind energy in Vietnam is estimated at 713,000 MW of which 510,000 MW on land and 200,000 MW on islands. Excluding restrictions on the exploitation of the potential, 120.5 GW of wind power capacity, about 10 times the peak load demand in 2005, is estimated as being economically feasible for producing electricity. Around 10 sites are currently being investigated for large wind-power generation, however, no preferential pricing scheme is given to the technology by EVN, as is the case with biomass or hydropower technologies, and hence the development of the resource is at a disadvantage. Wind Power Plant no1 in the southern coastal province of Binh Thuan is one of the large projects hosted by Vietnam, and was the first wind turbine plant project in South-East Asia. Two other wind power plants in Binh Thuan were scheduled to be completed in 2010, and will have a combined capacity of 75MW. However, the overlapping nature of potential wind power sites with previously-granted titanium mining concessions has delayed further development. In April 2010, the Government approved the development by EVN of a pilot wind power project, with a capacity of 30MW, in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan.