Strong efforts made to hit zero-emissions target: UNDP
Posted June 16, 2022
1. Could you summarize global trends of the global trend in green (renewable) energy development?
2. UNDP has provided some technical support to Viet Nam in energy development. How do you assess Viet Nam’s transition to efficient and renewable energies? (AREAS OF PROGRESS)
Viet Nam must be congratulated for joining 70 other countries in committing to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The international community also highly appreciates Viet Nam joining with 190 other countries in committing to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants.
Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in expanding its capacity to generate renewable energy and is leading the energy transition in Southeast Asia in terms of installed solar and wind power capacity.
Renewable energy will help Viet Nam to ensure energy security. Since 2015, Viet Nam has increasingly relied on imported coal to meet the demand for power, and it is projected that coal and gas imports will increase significantly in future while the prices of imported fossil fuels will be highly influenced by market fluctuations.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam has enormous potential for renewable energy.
Over just five years, Viet Nam scaled up solar energy capacity from almost nothing in 2017 to more than 16,000 MW in 2022, far exceeding national targets.
Viet Nam also has enviable wind power potential, particularly for offshore wind, with more than 3,200 km of coastline. In 2022 and 2023, 20 wind power projects will be installed in Soc Trang alone.
With rapid advances in technology, renewable energy is now cheaper than coal-based power, and renewable energy prices will continue to fall. When the other costs of coal-based power are taken into account, such as environmental pollution, contamination of water and soil, health impacts on the population and increased costs to the medical and environmental sectors, then renewable energy is far more affordable than coal-based power.
3. Challenges remain for Viet Nam to develop policies, technology, and financing to promote the development of clean energy projects as the country moves towards carbon neutrality. Do you have any recommendations to help the country address these challenges? (AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT)
In Viet Nam, despite progress made with the unprecedented boom in renewable energy investments, transmission lines connecting solar and wind energy to the national grid do not yet have sufficient capacity to cope with spikes in supply.
Though the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) was initially an effective mechanism to improve the competitiveness of renewable technologies, it has also led to uneven and unsustainable development of solar energy in Viet Nam. Meanwhile, the price policy that will replace the FiT is not yet in place.
Power purchase agreements (PPA) have not yet met international standards. There is also significant potential to pursue Direct Power Purchase Agreements (DPPA) driven by the private sector, which help facilitate private renewable energy generation. DPPAs are currently being piloted and could have significant impact if scaled.
Viet Nam has been receiving comparatively large amounts of international assistance for a just energy transition and continues to have opportunities. However, the amounts are likely to remain limited compared to overall investment needs.
4. One of the important factors in helping the country fulfilling its energy development and climate change adaptation goals is international support. Does UNDP have any plan to support or cooperate with Viet Nam in this field until 2030?
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