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Disagreements may hinder national solar power plan

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The government has requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) to clarify the risks in developing solar power projects.

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Vietnam continues to develop coal-fired thermal power


Some experts have expressed concern about the “hot development” of solar power projects, warning of the imbalance between electricity generation and transmission line development.

The total capacity of licensed solar power projects has reached 749.63 MW in Binh Thuan and 1,047.32 MW in Ninh Thuan province, which will cause overloaded transmission lines in the areas.

If the electricity output or capacity of solar power plants falls by 10 percent, all estimated scenarios may be inaccurate and projects will not be implemented.

The experts have also warned that ‘Vietnam may repeat the same mistakes that China made’, and that the current high solar electricity wholesale purchase price (9.35 US cent per kwh) would overheat the solar project market. 

The warnings have faced opposition from environmentalists who have called for the development of renewable energy to replace coal-fired thermal power.

Tran Dinh Sinh from GreenID denied that solar power projects in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan would overload local electricity transmission networks. 

He said it was too early to make a conclusion as a detailed plan on renewable energy development has not been done. To assess the impact of solar power, it is necessary to re-program the coal-fired thermal and hydraulic power networks.

Regarding the warning that Vietnam may ‘repeat the mistake that China made’, Sinh said he does not know what mistake China made. However, he is sure that China is suffering heavily from the development of coal-fired thermal power.

China is also meeting difficulties in manufacturing solar panels for sale. The products can bring high profits, but also environmental risks. 

“The problem that Vietnam should worry about is coal-fired thermal power, not solar power,” he said.

Under the seventh national power development program, from now to 2030, there would be 14 coal-fired power plants with the total capacity of 18,268 MW. 

Even if the plants used the most advanced technologies, they would still produce big amounts of polluting substances, ash and slag. They will discharge 70 million cubic meters of hot 40oC water each day, a threat to the ecosystem and aquatic resources.

Meanwhile, an expert said he disagrees with the comment that the solar power price that EVN (Electricity of Vietnam) buys from electricity generators is too high. He said the production cost of coal-fired thermal power is even higher, about 11 cent per kwh.




Source: VietNamNet

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