On Friday, 19 November 2021, at the Government headquarters, Ms. Virginia Foote, VBF Power & Energy WG Steering Committee member, attended the meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh to discuss about the national electricity development plan (PDP VIII) for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045.
Attending the meeting are leaders from a number of ministries, sectors, large corporations (EVN, PVN, TKV) and experts, scientists and representatives of some organizations who are interested in energy development: AmCham, EuroCham, JCCI, KoCham, GWEC, VSEA, CEGR.
Speaking on behalf of VBF at the meeting, Virginia shared that VBF committed to work with the government to develop PDP8 further to meet COP 26 goals while addressing Vietnam’s energy needs.
First, VBF agrees on the importance and finance ability of gas as a cleaner and more reliable transitional fuel to the net zero future to the extent it is needed to secure the baseload while the build out of renewable capacity takes place over the coming decades. Also, for a medium to long-term perspective, gas power plants should be designed and implemented now that can use low carbon fuel such as hydrogen in the future or other technological steps to reach 100% decarbonization.
Second, VBF do still recommend phasing out coal more quickly than the current draft calls for, and to not carry forward coal projects from PDP7 to PDP8 that have not achieved financial closure. Additionally, coal plant currently under construction or in operation should be able to be converted to gas as soon as possible.
Third, it is also recommended to implement Resolution 55 which welcomes regulatory change to allow private investment in power transmission.
VBF emphasized that the PDP8 should be written with enough flexibility to capture global innovation in renewables, battery energy storage and other technologies as they come to market. Amongst those technologies, battery storage for example has become a major enabler for a high renewable energy future and has developed quickly in many countries.
Another point of view in Power Plan VIII is that electricity inefficiency is a large contributor to Vietnam’s high estimate for growing energy needs. One focus on unlocking behind the meter cleaner energy, is allowing industrial parks, manufacturers, offices, homes, and regions to produce or purchase their own clean energy which can relieve pressure on the grid and power generation. Additionally, savings can be made with regulatory such as energy efficiency standards in construction, appliances, and manufacturing and tariff structures to encourage energy saving rather than energy waste.
In the coming time, the Government will organize a conference with localities to agree on the arrangement of power projects suitable to the specific characteristics of each region, area and locality.