Two kick-off workshops for the ‘Climate Protection through Sustainable Bioenergy Markets in Vietnam’ (BEM) project took place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in June 2020. Apart from introducing the project, the workshops discussed the current context and outlook for bioenergy in Vietnam, opportunities and challenges for developing a bioenergy power plant in the country, and the need for bioenergy research.
Mr. Joerg Rueger, the German Embassy’s First Secretary, said, “The BEM project will play a crucial role in supporting the Vietnamese Government in increasing the share of bioenergy within the country’s overall power mix. While wind and especially solar power have already shown their growth potential in Vietnam, the bioenergy potential remains untapped. […] A growing number of bioenergy power plants will support Vietnam to achieve its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).”
BEM’s first showcase is the Son Duong Sugar Company in Tuyen Quang Province north of Hanoi, which is being supported to produce sugar with bioenergy. The firm processes sugarcane planted by local farmers to produce sugar, while the crushed fibres left over, known as bagasse, are used by the biomass energy plant to generate electricity.
As a country with a significant agricultural sector, Vietnam has great potential to harness biomass for the production of electricity and heat. However, a total of nearly 40 sugar mills with a capacity of only 352 MW from bagasse were installed nationwide in 2019, compared to the 55.4 GW of the country’s overall electricity generation capacity. Only ten of the factories were grid-connected in 2019. With a total capacity of 202 MW, nearly 190 GWh of biomass electricity was supplied to the grid.
Set to run until 2023, BEM aims at improving the preconditions for sustainable use of bioenergy for electricity and heat generation in the country. The project is implemented by the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority (EREA) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, and GIZ.