Coal-fired power will remain a key energy source for Vietnam for several decades to come despite the boost in renewables, senior officials say.
Without coal-fired power, Vietnam will have to confront energy insecurity, Deputy National Assembly Chairman Phung Quoc Hien said Monday at a meeting between the parliamentary Economic Committee and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.
In the context of a boom in renewable energy production including solar and wind power in recent years, many localities have stopped receiving new coal power projects, leading to electricity shortages, Hien said. .
Renewable energy, including solar power, wind power and small hydroelectric plants, accounts for 15.8% of Vietnam's energy supply last year, compared with 36 per cent of coal-fired power.1 percent and hydropower 30.8%, according to the Vietnam Energy Association (VEA).
Vietnam needs to ensure electricity security in the coming years, and coal power will still play an important role in achieving that goal, he added.
The British minister agreed that coal power would still account for 36-37% of the total electricity in the new energy development plan that the ministry is drafting for the period 2021-2030.
“Coal power is not a sinner to give up,” he said.
A report prepared by the ministry shows that Vietnam's electricity supply growth rate over the past five years has slowed to an annual average of around 8%, compared with 13% in the 2011-2015 period.
Between the two periods, hydroelectricity supply growth slowed from 15% to 5%, and thermal power (mainly coal-fired) fell from 27% to 10%, it said.
The construction of new coal-fired power plants has only reached 60% of the target for the 2016-2020 period.Ten large coal-fired power projects with a total capacity of 7,000 MW have been scheduled to operate during this period, but all of them will not be on time this year.
With electricity demand expected to grow by 8% annually between 2021-2030, the delay of new coal-fired power projects will pose challenges to ensuring sufficient electricity supply over the next five years, the report said. emphasized the report.
The British minister said that to ensure power security, the ministry will make efforts to complete the development of coal-fired power projects that have been behind schedule in the past time.
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