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Viet Nam

Official Name:
Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Mr. Pham Van Tan
Deputy Director General, Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change
+84-4-37955116, +84-4-37759770,

Energy profile

Vietnam (2012)

Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

At the end of June 2005, the National Power Grid has reached all provinces, connecting 95% of communes and 89% of households in rural areas.  About 73% of the economy’s 85 million people live in rural areas, and 6% of households in those regions have no access to electricity. In total, 97.6% of the population have access to electricity, leaving 2.1 million people without electricity service. The state power company, Electricité du Vietnam (EVN) plans to develop a national electricity grid by 2020, by inter-connecting several regional grids. The distribution infrastructure his been poorly maintained, but has benefited from recent improvements. A North-South power cable transmits electricity from Vietnam’s largest generator, the Hoa Binh hydropower plant in the North, to large population centres in the South, helping to alleviate electricity shortages in Ho Chi Minh City. The total distribution network of EVN extends 19,396 km. Transmission occurs at 500 kV, 220 kV and 110 kV, with a 35/22 kV medium-voltage distribution network.

Renewable energy potential

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.

Energy framework

The National Energy Development Strategy for the period up to 2020, with an outlook to 2050, was approved by the Prime Minister on 27th December 2008 (Decision No. 1855/QD-TTg). The strategy set  the following targets:Ensuring sufficient supply of energy to meet the demands of socio-economic development, in which primary energy is expected to reach 47.5–47.9 Mtoe in 2010, 100–110 Mtoe in 2020 and 310–320 Mtoe in 2050;Developing power plants and power networks, ensuring sufficient supply of electricity for socio-economic development, and ensuring the 99.7% reliability of electricity supply in 2010;Ensuring the phased development of refineries to meet domestic demand for petroleum products, and increasing the capacity of refineries to roughly 25–30 Mt of crude oil in 2020;Ensuring strategic oil stockpiling adequate for 45 days in 2010, 60 days in 2020 and 90 days in 2025;Achieving a share of renewable energy in the total commercial primary energy supply of 3% in 2010, 5% in 2025 and 11% in 2050;Completing the energy program for rural and mountainous areas, and increasing the proportion of rural households using commercial energy to 50% in 2010 and 80% in 2020 (by 2010, 95% of rural households will have access to electricity)Changing the electricity, coal and oil–gas sectors to operate in competitive markets with state regulation; establishing a competitive electricity retail market after 2022; in addition to establishing a coal and petroleum product business market by 2015;Actively preparing the conditions for putting the first unit of a nuclear power plant into operation in 2020, and then increasing the contribution of nuclear power to the economy’s energy structure (by 2050, nuclear electricity will account for about 15%–20% of total commercial energy consumption).Incentives for Renewable EnergyVietnam has not established a feed-in tariff for renewable energies., but the Avoided Cost Tariff (ACT) Regulation provides incentives for renewable energy developers. The “Avoided Cost Tariff” is defined as; “the electricity tariff calculated by avoided costs of the national power grid when 1 kWh is generated to the distribution power grid from a small renewable energy power plant”, with the “avoided cost” defined as; “the production cost per 1 kWh of the most expensive power generating unit in the national power grid, which would be avoided if the buyer purchases 1 kWh of electricity from a substitute small renewable energy power plant”.From 1st January 2009 until 31st December 2009, the grid-connected renewable energy power plants which met certain criteria were eligible for the Avoided Cost Tariff. A project which is eligible for the Avoided Cost Tariff must have installed capacity of not more than 30 MW, and all electricity must be generated from renewable energy. In addition, the renewable energy project must employ the standardised power purchase agreement, in a form issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade pursuant to the SPA Regulation, for the sale of electricity.The Vietnam National Energy Efficiency Program (VNEEP) was established in 2006, and aims to institute measures for improving energy efficiency and conservation in all sectors of the Vietnamese economy. In light of the Law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation 2010, Phase II (2011-2015) of the program is currently underway, and aims to achieve energy savings of 5-8% on total final energy consumption through a wide variety of measures, including the promotion of energy-efficient appliances and industrial equipment, a comprehensive review of building energy codes, efficient public and private lighting initiatives, capacity-building and information dissemination, and many more.

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