The low selling prices that the government set for wind power cannot encourage the investment in the renewable power sector.

Vietnam yet to pursue right strategy in developing wind power

To meet the target of yielding 1,000 MW of wind power by 2020 set by the government in 2011, Vietnam needs an investment of around 2.1 billion U.S. dollars within six years, said Vietnam’s General Department of Energy.

By 2020, wind electricity is expected to account for 0.7 percent of the country’s total electricity production, and to increase to 2.4 percent by 2030, said the plan.

Vietnam has not yet pursued a right strategy in developing wind power, said German Technical Cooperation GIZ.

Local Vietnam Economic Times (VET) quoted the GIZ as saying on Friday that the country’s priority to build wind power plants in the coastal water area is costly as the investment to build wind turbines in water is much higher than in coastal land.

GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit), a partner of Vietnam in developing renewable energy, proposed the Vietnamese government to give priority to coastal land leasing for investors instead of the current policy on exemption of sea surface leasing, reported VET.

In a report on Vietnam’s potential wind energy released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) together with World Bank (WB), the country has a potential wind power of some 513,360 MW, over 200 times bigger than the capacity of 2,400 MW of Vietnam’s Son La Hydropower plant, the biggest plant in the Southeast Asia.

However, in 2010, the Ministry’s Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the WB updated the figure of Vietnam’s wind power potential with 10,637 MW, much lower than the previous release.

Among 48 registered projects on wind power, so far, only three projects were put into operation, while others are mostly lying in documents, reported an online newspaper of MoIT on Friday.

Statistics released at a conference on promoting wind power in Vietnam co-held by the General Department of Energy under MoIT and GIZ recently in capital Hanoi showed that, up to now, the total capacity of the three wind power plants in the country stays at 52 MW.

The General Department of Energy said, according to a study at the three wind power projects, the average construction cost for each one MW of wind electricity is two million U.S. dollars, while the operational costs for one MW stay at 35,000 U.S. dollars annually.

The current price of wind electricity sold to the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) is 7.8 U.S. cents per KWh, said the department.

At this price, investors of these three projects still suffer great losses, which would discourage those who want to invest into this sector.