Barriers to Vietnam wind energy remain

Vietnam has significant potential for the development of wind power but it has captured only a small part of the country’s potential.

Only three of 42 wind power projects have been put into the national grid, according to a report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Energy Institute.

According to experts’ opinion, there are several reasons for the delay of wind energy deployment in Viet Nam, such as lack of policies, purchasing price, limited co-ordination between central and local governments in the formulation of wind power development plants and a paucity of knowledge and technical capabilities required to carry out a wind power project.

The main obstacle for investment in wind power was the electricity purchasing price, Vu Duy Hung, a representative of Energy Institute, said at a workshop on promoting the development of wind energy recently.

The fact that the price was lower than the wind power price in other countries had not attracted investors, he said.

Meanwhile, imported equipment was still expensive, which kept the production cost of wind energy high.

Having the same opinion, a representative of Quang Trung International Energy Consultancy Ltd Co, Vu Quang Dang, said the wind power price had not matched the investment value.

The current electric buying price is at 7.8 US cent/kWh. The suitable price should be $10.4 US cent/kWh, Dang said.

In addition, limited database assessment of wind energy was another challenge for the development of renewable energy, he said.

He added that the country still lacked land for building plants, large ports to store wind turbines and big equipment as well as transporting vehicles.

To fully exploit this energy, new incentive policies should be created to promote investment in the field, participants said.

Deputy Minister Nguyen Cam Tu said the strengthening of research, exploitation and taking full advantage of energy sources like wind, solar, and biomass was necessary, in order to limit exhausted exploitation of natural resources which are not renewable, and serves the goal of sustainable development.

“The advantage of wind energy is that it is an available source, abundant, renewable, sustainable, and environmentally friendlier than other traditional energy sources, and has a competitive price if produced on a large scale,” he said.

However, to put wind energy projects in use on a mass scale, the country is still facing many difficulties such as the natural environmental condition, geographic location, high cost in investment, and equipment maintenance, as well as obstacles on commercial development, according to Tu.

He said the Government had implemented many support policies to remove difficulties for businesses in scaling up the renewable energy industry.

Enterprises should actively propose initiatives and invest more capital to develop this potential energy, he said.

The Government has set a target for wind power development at 1,000WM by 2020 and about 6,200MW by 2030.