Promoting a sustainable energy transition

According to Hoang Tien Dung, Director General of the Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy (Ministry of Industry and Trade), Viet Nam has introduced many policy mechanisms to achieve the goal of sustainable energy transition in line with the strategic orientations under Resolution 55 of the Politburo as well as the Government’s commitments on net zero emissions by 2050.

In particular, in the draft Power Plan 8, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has researched and developed Viet Nam’s electricity system in a green and sustainable way, in line with the commitments at COP26. Specifically, it is necessary to maximize and rationally exploit domestic primary energy resources for electricity production such as natural gas and renewable energy sources; minimize coal-fired power plants with the goal of minimizing CO2 emissions, do not develop new coal-fired power plants after 2030, consider converting some power sources in the coal use plan to liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Coal and gas-fired power plants will gradually switch to biomass, ammonia or hydrogen as the technologies are proven and commercialized. Viet Nam will also promote the development of wind and solar power sources, prioritize the development of renewable energy power projects directly supplying electricity to industrial and residential production facilities (prioritizing the production of hydrogen, green ammonia, chemicals …), types of charged hydropower,  hydropower on irrigation lakes, biomass power, solid waste electricity and other renewable energy.

“It can be said that Viet Nam is implementing the first steps of the transition from traditional energy to greener and cleaner renewable energy. This is also an inevitable trend to help ensure a sustainable economy. Up to now, we have achieved certain results in increasing the proportion of renewable power sources in the power system capacity structure, and at the same time, there is a plan to develop lower-emission power sources and convert fuel in the near future. However, the energy transition in Viet Nam will require a comprehensive approach with the participation of all economic sectors of society, along with many synchronous solutions,” Dung said.

In the 2021 Viet Nam Energy Outlook Report published by the Electricity and Renewable Energy Administration in collaboration with the Danish Electricity Agency, it was pointed out that in order for Viet Nam to reach net zero emissions by 2050 at the lowest cost, renewable energy (RE) needs to be the main alternative source for fossil fuels,  directly or indirectly through the production of electrolytic fuel. To do so, Viet Nam’s electricity system needs to meet more than 70% of its total final energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2050. The abundance of electricity will promote electrification in all sectors and sectors and reduce dependence on fossil fuels for the rest of the energy system.

Ninh Thuan Wind Power Plant

Currently, the Transportation industry – one of the industries with the highest electrification potential has built a “greening” roadmap for 6 types: road, rail, aviation, inland waterway, maritime and urban transport. According to the Institute of Transport Strategy and Development, from now to 2030 is the period when the industry will improve energy efficiency and promote the transformation of electricity and energy use for sectors of the transport industry that are ready in terms of technology, institutions and resources. This is the foundation to strongly implement the transformation of all transport vehicles and equipment to electricity and green energy towards net emissions to “zero” by 2050. Throughout is the process of developing green transport infrastructure systems, restructuring the transport market, converting from private vehicles to public transport and deploying metro systems in big cities. However, this roadmap needs maximum support from the energy transition towards green and sustainable.

According to TS. Nguyen Anh Tuan (Institute of Energy), Viet Nam needs to take a systemic approach to the energy transition and benefit all parties. Lessons learned from previous countries should pay attention to sustainable development values associated with greater economic benefits and efficiency. Specifically, Viet Nam will need to synchronously implement the “green” energy strategy, clean energy planning with the goals of renewable energy development, carbon emission reduction, support policies to maximize socio-economic benefits, enhance renewable energy source flexibility.

In addition, it is necessary to have a roadmap to reduce deep carbon emissions by developing policies such as carbon pricing, carbon emission standards, policies to gradually reduce coal power in parallel with labor market movement… An urgent requirement is to build infrastructure for energy transition activities such as infrastructure for smart grids, distribution, power transmission from renewable energy, LNG …

Trung Nguyen