Nam Phang Hydropower Plant, located in Bac Ha, Lao Cai province, Vietnam. Photo taken by Tran Duc Hung

Vietnam Goes Greener: Renewable energy potential

Vietnam currently demands for technologies to adapt with climate change effects, to overcome environmental disasters and also to exploit renewable energy potential.

Nam Phang Hydropower Plant, located in Bac Ha, Lao Cai province, Vietnam. Photo taken by Tran Duc Hung

Nam Phang Hydropower Plant, located in Bac Ha, Lao Cai province, Vietnam. Photo taken by Tran Duc Hung

Like other developing countries, Vietnam is facing to the issue of balancing between sustaining economic growth and protecting the environment. Recently, Vietnam has been facing a number of environmental problems such as “Mass killed fish due to wastewater from a Taiwan steel factory”, “Increasingly flooding at Ho Chi Minh city”, “Alarming air-pollution in Hanoi”, and “Heavily drought and salinization in the Central and Mekong Delta area”.

At present, water-desalination systems are needed in the Central and Mekong Delta provinces. Businesses are looking for effective technologies to treat industrial wastewater while local authorities are looking for efficient equipment and technologies to do quality control of effluents. Ho Chi Minh City’s local government is calling for proposals to mitigate floods inside the City while Hanoi is seriously looking at air pollution issues as well as trying to mitigate it.

More renewable energy projects

On the other hand, there are increasing attention of public and private sectors to renewable energies. Mekong Brahmaputra Clean Development Fund has invested in Song Ong, the 8.1 MW run off river hydropower plant in Vietnam. At the same time, the fund wants to look for investment opportunities within rooftop solar projects.

Vietnam Renewable Energies & Water Consortium provides a financial-package to support desalination businesses and to counterbalance the low Vietnam Feed-in-Tariff of renewable Energy projects. At present, the consortium is looking for interested parties within the international wind industry who have the capacity & capabilities to take on the construction of one of the three proposed plants, about 100MW each.

Nike and Microsoft

More amazingly, Nike and Microsoft demand for providing 100% of renewable electricity to their Vietnam factories, which provide a strong motivation for EVN, the monopoly power utility, to generate and to provide renewable energy to such special customers.

Hydropower

Furthermore, opportunities are also seen in upgrading and expanding existing hydropower plants, which account for more than 50% of Vietnam annual electricity production. Recently, Andritz Hydro and its local partner, Narime, have won a contract of rehabilitation of control system at Hoa Binh Hydropower plant, 1,900 MW, which was built with Russian support from 1979-1994. EVN is now looking for technical solutions to rehabilitation of Francis turbines in Hoa Binh hydropower plant and Tri An hydropower plant.

More impressively, private mini-hydropower investors are now looking for EU electric-mechanical equipment suppliers as well as high-end consultancy services. Sintef has successfully provided consultancy service to Ha Do Company to build the first un-lined water tunnel of its hydropower plant. At present, demand for designing the first Vietnam gravity- arch dam for mini-hydropower is seen. Computer program of optimizing hydropower reservoir operation is also needed in order to do flood control properly and to solve possible conflict of water utilizations.

For more information, please contact:
Hai Anh Tran
Senior Market Adviser, Innovation Norway Hanoi
Hai.Anh.Tran@innovationnorway.no

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