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October 27, 2021, 2:10 am

Big hopes but disappointing results for wind power

(15:32:58 PM 26/03/2014)
( - To date, only three out of 48 registered wind-to-power projects in Vietnam have become operational while most remain on paper.


Bac Lieu is one of the three wind-to-power projects put into operation in Vietnam


Wind power project boom

Vietnam saw a boom in the registration of wind power projects during the 2011-2012 period, particularly with the government’s decision on supporting mechanism for these projects in Vietnam issued in June 2011.

Under that decision, the prime minister asked the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to buy all the output provided by wind power at the price of VND1,614/kWh.


At that time, the decision was expected to be a breakthrough in the country’s development of wind power.


At the Gree-Biz Forum held last September, EVN’s Power Engineering Consulting Company 3, said that by September 2012, Vietnam had licensed 77 wind-to-power projects in 18 cities and provinces with a total capacity of 7,234 MW.


However, at a conference, held in February, Pham Thuy Dung, from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Renewable Energy Department, said that only 48 wind power projects had been registered in Vietnam, with a total capacity of 4,876 MW.


There is a great disparity between the project numbers. According to Ly Ngoc Thang, Deputy Director of the Centre for Renewable Energy and Clean Development Mechanisms under the Energy Institute, even the figure of 48 projects, which was announced by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, might be inaccurate.


Thang added that investors have been withdrawing from wind power projects in Vietnam, and the number of real projects with investment is closer to 30. Among those, only three have become operational.


Bad numbers, bad investment decisions


Mr. Thang blamed the investors' withdrawal from wind power in Vietnam not only for their lack of capital but also the fact that investors believed that they could earn easy profits with little knowledge of the industry.


“We have worked with many investors who have said they are facing difficulties and want to turn to wind power development,” Thang noted.


Many foreign investors were also persuaded by Vietnamese consulting firms to go into wind power. However, after measuring actual wind power output they were disappointed and abandoned projects.


The national power development in the 2011 - 2020 period with a vision toward 2030, issued by the prime minister in July 2011, prioritised renewable energy development.


At that time, many experts said that Vietnam’s wind power had great potential, estimated at 200 times higher than the capacity of the Son La Hydropower Plant.


However, in 2010, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, along with the World Bank, updated their figures concerning the Vietnamese potential for wind power development, greatly lowering expectations.


In late January, the People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan Province revoked the investment license of the Phuoc Huu wind power project, which had already been delayed for four years.


Many other projects, such as Phuoc Nam-Enfinity and Mui Dinh in Ninh Thuan, as well as some in Binh Thuan and Soc Trang provinces are in similar situations. 

Source: Vietnamnet

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