Vietnamese and Southeast Asian news outlets have reported that on February 26, the Government Office of Vietnam issued a communiqué from Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh stating that the country’s Eighth Power Plan (a.k.a. Power Development Master Plan VIII for 2021-2030) will undergo further adjustments. Specifically, the government now wants to reduce excess PV generation so that there is room for offshore wind generation in the country’s energy mix.
Earlier this January, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that no new generation capacity based on solar PV and wind power is to be incorporated into the country’s grid system during this year due to the existing infrastructure bottleneck. The latest communiqué from Deputy Prime Minister reflects this present dilemma. He said that the development of the PV generation capacity under the Eighth Power Plan and the 2045 installation target are “too high”.
According to a proposal put forth by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in late February, the planned domestic generation capacity between now and 2030 is set at 146,000MW, which is a reduction of 9,000MW from the original plan released last November. Looking ahead to 2045, the Ministry forecasts that the planned domestic generation capacity will total 352,000MW. Furthermore, the Ministry expects solar PV to comprise around 25% of the domestic generation capacity in the 2031-2045 period.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the share of solar PV in the country’s energy mix should be lowered while the share of offshore wind energy should be raised. Hence, curbing PV generation appears to be necessary in order to free up the grid capacity for electricity from offshore wind turbines. The Eighth Power Plan currently aims to install 4GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2030.
According to government-owned power company Vietnam Electricity (EVN), Vietnam was one of the top 10 countries by PV generation capacity in 2021. Its PV generation capacity came to 16,504MW that year, making up 2.3% of the global total.
Regarding the formulation of the Eighth Power Plan, four rounds of revisions have been made since the submission of its first draft in March last year. Also, the implementation of the plan has been postponed to the second quarter of this year.