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Renewable power still poses multiple challenges

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Many of the local people want to use electricity originating from renewable energy sources as it is offered at reasonable prices and can replace other materials, including coal, which is facing an acute shortage, officials said.

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Renewable power projects are facing challenges


Data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade indicates that, as of August this year, 121 solar power projects with a combined capacity of 6,100 megawatts have been added to the national and provincial power development plans, including 25 projects whose output will be bought by Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN).

However, the national grid must be upgraded to be able to receive this large volume of renewable power for more efficient operations, provoking concern from EVN, as its power transmission subsidiaries currently face difficulties in taking out loans to invest in their power transmission systems.

Further, solar power plants can operate for only 1,500-1,800 hours per year, far lower than the operating periods of hydro, thermal, or liquefied-petroleum-gas power plants.

Meanwhile, power generation through popular resources such as water, coal or gas is also facing hardships.

To date, the power industry is still under pressure due to unfavorable weather conditions. In particular, the power supply for next year’s dry season may face a shortage as many hydropower dams will likely be at low water capacity by the end of the year, while hydro power comprises between 38% and 42% of the total power generation.

Last year, on the other hand, the hydropower output exceeded EVN’s target of 10 billion kilowatt hours thanks to favorable hydrological conditions, helping it reap significant profits.

As for thermal power, it plays a pivotal role in supplying electricity to the national grid, accounting for 47% of the total generation, ranking second after hydropower on the industry’s priority list. However, thermal power plants are suffering a coal shortage.

Moreover, thermal power plants using liquefied petroleum gas, which import their input materials from the Blue Whale and Lot B gas projects, are currently facing obstacles in their operations, causing the gas supply to be lower than expected.



Source: SGT