In Tay Nguyen Province and South Central Coast, the number of sunny hours ranges from 2,000 to 2,600 hours per year. The average solar radiation is 150 kcal/m2, which is about 2,000 to 5,000 hours per year. However, despite the great potential, the exploitation of this energy source in Vietnam is not significant.
The majority of solar power projects are of small scale. For example, the first solar power project with grid connection belonged to the An Hoi Power Plant (Con Dao, Ba Ria – Vung Tau). The project was initiated and completed in 2014. However, despite the connection to Con Dao electric power grid, the capacity only reaches 36 kWp and the electricity is over 50 MWh. Only one solar power project with grid connection in Quang Ngai is of relatively large scale, but the project is also in the finishing phase.
In the context of growing demand for energy to meet the demand of socio-economic development, the government has issued policies and mechanisms to encourage the efficient use of energy and diversifies energy sources. At the same time, the government also has supporting policies to promote renewable energy to enhance capabilities, efficiency and sustainability for the national energy network. In order to ensure the security of national energy, renewable energy is inevitable. The government needs to have policies and regulations; establish fund supporting renewable energy to finance solar energy, wind energy; training the human resources at universities and research institutes. In the context of looking for alternative power to replace hydroelectric power, the development of thermal power needs to focus on sustainable technology.
As such, the World Bank and the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) jointly launched a campaign to promote the deployment of renewable energy in the country on September 20, with the installation of five solar measurement stations across the country.
The stations will collect high-quality data on solar radiation data and improve the accuracy of estimates on solar resources. To be published and made freely available online, the data is expected to encourage and assist developers interested in building solar power plants.
The solar measurement campaign follows the recent publication by the World Bank of updated solar maps for Vietnam, which show the average solar resource potential at a 1km resolution. The data and maps can be accessed via the Global Solar Atlas. After two years of the measurement campaign, Vietnam’s solar maps will be fully validated, of excellent quality, and ready for planning and prospecting purposes.
“The costs of solar power generation are falling around the world. Vietnam is taking an important step in fostering an enabling environment for clean power generation that is quick to build,” said Ousmane Dione, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam. “The World Bank Group will continue to support Vietnam in meeting the country’s growing demand for electricity with sustainable renewable options, such as hydropower development, more energy efficiency in the industrial sector, and more efficiency of the transmission and distribution grids.”
The World Bank’s support for solar measurements and mapping is part of a project – supported by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, or ESMAP – that is also assessing and mapping the potential of biomass, small hydropower, and wind energy. The measurement stations being unveiled today in Song Binh, Bac Binh district, Binh Thuan province is part of a comprehensive suite of World Bank support for renewable energy that also includes advisory assistance to large solar power projects seeking to obtain commercial financing.