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Ambitious target: Vietnam is aiming to boost wind power generation capacity to 2000MW by 2025 and 6000MW by 2030


Ben Tre province in the south of Vietnam in a joint venture with local company Advance Information Technologies. Chief financial officer at Mainstream APAC, Adrian Dempsey, told fDi that the company is exploring other opportunities both onshore and offshore.


Coal challenges Despite all this, the fact remains that solar and wind only occupy 10–15% of the country’s energy mix, according to latest government estimates, which is still weighted towards hydro and fossil fuels. The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and


Trade issued the draft power development plan- ning VIII in February 2021, which lays out the roadmapof Vietnam’spower sectordevelopment until 2045, with significant increases in renewa- ble energy and gas-fired plants, in contrast to pre- vious plans. The government is now targeting 127GWof renewable capacity by 2045 with solar, onshore wind and offshore wind accounting for 43%, 31%and 17%of this respectively. Fossil fuels,however,have not beenremoved


from Vietnam’s future, as it plans to increase coal capacity from around 21GW to 50GW by the same period. “This [target] will be increasingly challeng-


ing, as there is a decreasing number of financi- ers still open to financing coal projects,” Joo YeowLee, associate director at data provider IHS Markit, points out. In February, Japanese trading house


Mitsubishi Corp decided to withdraw fromthe Vinh Tan 3 coal-fired power plant project in


April/May 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


Vietnam amid growing international concern about climate change, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Activist Greta Thunberg has also come out and criticised investment into the Vung Ang 2 coal-fired plant.


Aninteresting example Rahul Kitchlu, sector leader for infrastructure and coordinator for the energy sector at World Bank Vietnam, advises that in addition to renewable infrastructure support, “parallel programmes should also be developed to sup- port a ‘just transition’ for all from coal” in Vietnam, involving the physical, human and natural capital required to maintain such a socio-economic transformation. Lucila Arboleya, energy economics and


financial analyst at IEA, says that these chal- lenges relating to coal are not unique to Vietnam, and maintains that Vietnamstill pro- vides “an interesting example” for other coun- tries in south-east Asia, which accounts for nearly 5% of global energy demand. Ms Arboleya says it has successfully


attracted a lot of capital to the region and now is shifting its attention to upgrading its trans- mission grid, in line with a trend seen in other emerging economies that have bet on renewables. It is difficult to predict where it will go, but


what is true is that the energy demand is not abating, says Mr Seibart. “I tend to think we’re closer to the beginning of this renewable jour- ney than the middle of it, and certainly not at the tail of it.”■


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