Market to watch: Vietnam
By: Shuxin Lim, Policy and Communications Manager, GWEC Asia
With a coastline of more than 3,000 km and an average wind speeds of 8m/s-9m/s in the south, Vietnam´s potential to develop and generate wind power is substantial. In two reports both by the World Bank Group, Wind Resource Atlas and Going Global: Expanding Offshore Wind to Emerging Markets, a whopping 24 GW of onshore and 475 GW of offshore wind technical capacity was identified across Vietnam. By the end of 2019, Vietnam has a total cumulative installed wind power capacity of 487.4 MW, which includes 99 MW of intertidal projects, the first of its kind in the ASEAN region. Due to the strong flows of foreign and domestic investors into Vietnam’s wind sector, the market is predicted to install approximately 4 GW of wind capacity by 2025.
Near-term wind energy boom is being boosted by the 2021 Feed-in Tariff deadline
The current burgeoning wind market has been driven by a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) of USc 8.5/ KWh for onshore, which was increased by 9 per cent in September 2018, and the introduction of the offshore tariff of USc 9.5/KWh, at a time when neighbouring markets have lowered or removed FiTs for wind energy. The government’s decision to increase the wind FiT in 2018 (but with expiry in 2021) was part of its efforts to rapidly add more power capacity. The market is now driven by the FiT cut-off date of 1 November 2021 and the market is seeing a plethora of wind developers and investors rushing to commission their projects before the deadline to capitalise on the increased FiT rates. In addition, there are also other support mechanisms in the form of tax exemptions, such as import, corporate and land tax exemption, as well as an exemption from Environment Protection Fees.
Key Challenges and Recommendations
Despite the bullish mood, the wind industry is still facing competition from subsidised coal. The biggest obstacle for wind is the high cost of capital and lack of financing for projects, with persisting risk factors in relation to the PPA continuing to deter international developers and lenders. While the cost of wind power in Vietnam is already competitive with thermal power, post-2021 growth could be limited by the FiT expiry and curtailment challenges unless Vietnam takes a proactive approach to ensuring continued momentum and those transmission investments are handled strategically.
To find out more about what would support the growth of the onshore wind sector in Vietnam, please download the Global Wind Report 2019:
- Ensure policy stability in the long-term energy plan
- A clear and transparent approval process would encourage confidence for investors
- Develop a more attractive Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy
- Transmission and distribution grid investments are critical
- Capturing the potential of offshore wind
The report is publicly available as part of GWEC’s annual Global Wind Report. The final report a comprehensive overview of the global wind industry through the latest market data, country profiles, trends and analysis from GWEC Market Intelligence.