Vietnam to More Than Double Power Generation by 2030, Lower Offshore Wind Target

Vietnam aims to more than double its power generation capacity by 2030, but has slightly lowered its target for offshore wind and will heavily rely on coal until the end of the decade, according to a government document seen by Reuters.

Total installed power generation capacity in the Southeast Asian country is projected to reach 158 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, more than previously estimated and up from 69 GW in 2020, according to the document which detailed government’s plans discussed with foreign investors and diplomats on Thursday. 

Some of the content, including the overall capacity target, was published on the government portal.

The 2030 target for offshore wind capacity, which is expected to attract billions of dollars of foreign investments, is set at 6 GW from zero now, the document said – slightly lower than the 7 GW target included in a December draft of the country’s power development plan, which was reviewed by Reuters.

Capacity could soar to over 90 GW by 2050, according to the targets indicated by the government, which are still subject to changes until they are approved under a new power plan.

Two people familiar with the discussions said the document recapped a new version of the power plan prepared last week by the industry ministry, which still needs the approval of the government. The ministry was not immediately available for a comment.

The plan is important to unlock $15.5 billion of green-transition funds pledged to Vietnam in December by the Group of 7 nations and other wealthier countries, but its approval has been delayed for years amid internal squabbles and complex reforms.

The country made a commitment at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow (COP26) in November 2021 to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The internal document said Vietnam will completely phase out all coal-fired power plants by 2050, in line with previous commitments. 

However, combined capacity of coal-fired power plants would be raised to 30.1 GW by 2030 from 21.4 GW at the end of 2020, confirming it as the country’s largest source of electricity, accounting for 19% of the mix, according to the document.  

By 2030, hydropower will be the second main source of energy, followed by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and onshore wind.

The government said the plan aimed at supporting an average annual economic growth of 7% this decade.

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