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Renewable energy output surges in Vietnam in the first half of 2021

Vietnam’s total output of electricity from renewable energies – thereof mainly solar power – hit 9.5 billion kWh in the first four months of 2021, up to 160% year-on-year, and accounting for 11.8% of the total electricity output. Meanwhile, during January-April, Vietnam produced a total of 18.39 billion kWh from hydropower, up 59.3% year-on-year, and making up 22.8% of the total. The thermal power electricity yield reached 41.48 billion kWh, a year-on-year decrease of 8.7%, and accounting for 51.4% of the total. The total output of electricity generated by gas turbines was 10.55 billion kWh, down 16.4%, and equivalent to 13.2% of the total.

The government turned to the solar industry a few years ago as a growing number of power shortages threatened to sap its economic momentum.

In parallel, Foreign banks are limiting funding to fossil fuels projects, meaning Vietnamese utilities have struggled to get loans for new coal plants. At the same time, the plunging price of solar panels, many of which are assembled domestically, has created a cheap and convenient alternative.

The rapid expansion of renewables cannot always keep pace with conditions on the ground. Incentives to spur adoption are being paused or pared back to rein in the runaway buildout of new projects. While that action will cut the volume of installations in 2021, the rate will still be vastly higher than most recent years, BNEF data shows.

According to Bloomberg, Vietnam is already being seen as a template for other countries looking to add power generating capacity with coal sidelined.

Source: Bloomberg online

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