Wind Energy Country Analysis Vietnam
Overview - Wind Energy Potential
Vietnam’s wind energy potential is considerably high if compared to Thailand, Laos or
Cambodia. With a coastline of more than 3,000 km and located in the monsoonal climate zone, Vietnam has considerable potentials for harnessing its wind resources. The provinces with the most promising wind potentials include Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and the Central Highlands.
Since the 1980s, the Institute of Energy (IE) was commissioned by the Ministry of Electricity (now Ministry of Industry and Trade) to review the erection of wind turbines on islands and in remote grid connected areas. Observations and calculations showed that around 28 000 square kilometres of Vietnam have average wind speeds of 7 m/s to 9 m/s at a height of 65 meters. For instance, the average speeds at 65 meters is 7.6 m/s in Bach Long Vi, 6.3 m/s in Spratley, 6.8 m/s in Phu Quy, 4.9 m/s in Hon Dau, 4.4 m/s in Co To.
The World Bank ESMAP’s Renewable Energy Resource Mapping Initiative and the Government of Vietnam have collaborated to carry out an update of previous wind mapping exercises for Vietnam, based on meteorological data in conjunction with the MesoMap simulation model, as well as wind measurements carried out at three locations for two years. Subsequently, the Wind Resource Atlas of Vietnam was published in 2011.
The total technical potential for wind power development in Vietnam is believed to be at 24GW according the atlas. Developers and experts in the sector, however, perceive this to be overoptimistic and not always backed by existing wind measurements at 60m/80m height.
Due to the demand for more reliable wind data, the GIZ project "Support to the Up-scaling of Wind Power in Vietnam" implemented a wind measurement campaign at ten sites in the Central Highlands, as well as Central and Southern Vietnam from December 2011 to July 2015, measuring wind speeds at 80m, 60m and 40m height. Data from this wind measurement campaign is available on the World Bank Energy Open Data Platform. In order to further improve the accuracy of wind data in the country, the World Bank and GIZ are continuing their efforts in revising the wind atlas. GIZ continues to measure wind data for another 2 years in 5 locations, including Hai Ninh (Quang Binh), Da Loan (Lam Dong), Thanh Hai (Ben Tre), Kon Dong (Gia Lai) and An Ninh Dong (Phu Yen). The World Bank will obtain data over two years from six new sites and collect data using LIDAR technology at other sites. A new Vietnam Wind Power Atlas is expected to be available in 2018.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry has published the Revised Power Development Master plan VII for the period 2011 - 2020, with vision to 2030.
Under this plan, the proportion of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (excluding large-scale, medium-scale and pumped storage hydro power) will increase up to around 7% in 2020 and above 10% in 2030.
Sub-targets regarding the share of electricity production and installed capacity are set for wind energy, solar energy, biomass and hydro power. The total capacity of installed wind power is declared to reach 800 MW in 2020, 2000 MW in 2025 and 6000 MW in 2030, which account for 0.8% of the share of produced electricity in 2020, 1% in 2025 and 2.1% in 2030.
In Vietnam, the main laws governing wind power development are the Investment Law, the Construction Law, the Land law, and the Law on Environmental protection. There are several indirect support mechanisms aimed at renewable energy technologies in general such as non-tariff incentives from the government. These financial incentives include:
- Exemptions of coperate income tax (years 1-4: complete exemption; years 5-13: 50% tax reduction)
- Exemptions of equipment import duties (varying levels of import tax, depending on the type of imported goods; exemption on goods forming fixed assets which cannot be produced locally)
- 50% reduction for Escrow accounts
- Free land provision or reduced lease fee as part of the licinsing agreement
First incentives, specifically for wind power where introduced in 2011 when the Prime Minister issued Decision 37/2011/QD-TTg. A feed-in-tariff (FiT) of 1,614 VND/kWh (fixed at US Cents 7.8 /kWh) was implemented. The FiT is applicable to projects for a limited period of 20 years. An amount of 207VND (fixed at 1US cent) is subsidized via the Vietnam Environment protection Fund (VEPF). It is also stated that the power purchaser must buy all electricity generated from wind power projects which meet the eligibility criteria indicated in this Decision.
The following year, the Circular 96/2012/TT-BTC from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) was issued to instruct the financial mechanisms for tariff support/subsidies for gridconnected wind power projects. Regulations on project development and a Standard Purchase Power Agreement (SPPA) were provided in the Circular 32/2012/TT-BCT by MOIT.
Even though the first important step had been initiated via the Decision 37 and other relevant Circulars, until now, little development has been taken place. Wind project developers and investors still perceive the market as being too nascent and financial conditions are not attractive enough to realize their projects. The Government of Viet Nam is thus considering an increase of the existing FIT and seeking support from GIZ for revising the current one.
Project development procedures
The permitting procedures for energy projects are relatively complex and can act as a disincentive for potential investors. To mitigate these disincentives, Wind Investment Guidelines (Vol.1) for potential wind power developers in Vietnam have been published by the MOIT/GIZ project "Support to the Up-Scaling of Wind Power in Vietnam". The following figure summarizes the wind power project development process and shows where agreements with Vietnamese authorities are required.
The dominant suppliers of wind turbines to Vietnam are currently GE (USA), Vestas (Denmark) (and Fuhrländer (Germany)). GE has invested in a new factory located in Hai Phong city to manufacture wind turbine components to help support the global demand for GE's wind turbines. Enercon (Germany) is set to make market entry in their first project in 2016/17. Towers are available locally. As of July 2010 there have been three manufacturers of wind towers in Vietnam. CS Wind (South Korea) is currently the largest producer. Almost all its towers are exported. REVN, a 100 % Vietnamese-owned corporation, as well as VINA HALLA Heavy industries served their own demand on the local market and are experimenting with expansion strategies. Further companies are the Investment and Development of Solar Energy Co Ltd (BK-IDSE) and Asia Petroleum Energy Corporation. Asia Petroleum Energy Corporation is a producer, whole- sale supplier, exporter and importer of wind power equipment. Their services include construction, engineering and project development for clean energy. Bach-Khoa Investment and Development of Solar Energy Co Ltd (BK-IDSE) is a manufacturer of small wind turbines for battery charging (from 200 W up to 3.2kW) and specializes in R&D. Moreover, BK-IDSE offers consultancy service for wind resource assessments.
The institutional framework is dominated by governmental organizations and state owned enterprises. For private companies the exploitation of wind energy in Vietnam is perceived as risky as it is still an emerging market. However, for long-term investments Vietnam shows potentials. As mentioned above, a few support mechanisms are put in place to facilitate the development of wind power plants. The incentives are evidence for the acknowledgement of the Vietnamese governmet to further increase wind energy capacities. As from a technical perspective the Vietnamese grid and power distribution topology allows for more implemented wind power plants as it is today or as it is planned in the revised Power Development Plan VII. The GIZ project Support to the Up-Scaling of Wind Power in Vietnam is aiding to improve the structural conditions and has issued wind development guidelines for that matter.
Vietnam has had experience with small scale wind technology through the Research Centre for Thermal Equipment and Renewable Energy (RECTERE) of Ho Chi Minh City Technical University. For twenty years, RECTERE has manufactured and installed household wind energy systems with a rated power of 100 W – 500 W. The technical and investment requirements associated with these systems are extremely different to those associated with large scale grid connected wind farms. The development of large scale grid connected wind farms is in the experimental phase, including the Wind Power Development in Vietnam Institutional, Policy and Market study and an EC-ASEAN Energy Facility (EAEF) project. The EAEF project aims to promote wind energy development and facilitate investments in wind energy projects in Vietnam through feasibility assessments and capacity building.
There are currently no manufacturers of large scale wind turbines in Vietnam. However, CS Wind Vietnam Co a Korean manufacturer of small scale wind turbines and towers, established its first wind tower factory in Vietnam and is now recognized as one of the leading wind tower manufacturers in the country. Fuhrlaender is investigating the possibility to manufacture its 1.5 MW turbine in Viet Nam. Currently they are negotiating the conditions with the government. Wind developers must import technology and gain expertise from abroad due to the limited technical expertise available in Vietnam and thereby assume significant risk in the development of wind farms. Thermal power and Hydro power generators do not face these barriers as Vietnam already has an established industry in these technologies.
Vietnam currently does not have the necessary skilled labour to adequately maintain the specialized equipment of which each wind generating unit is comprised. In order to fulfil the ongoing maintenance requirements of the equipment it is necessary for project developers to sign a maintenance agreement with the turbine suppliers. As a result, the project developers rely on foreign manufacturers to provide quality maintenance services.
All important projects are supported by the state bank of Vietnam but financial support is also possible from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The project "Support to the Up-scaling of Wind Power in Vietnam" has issued Wind Power Investment Guidelines which provide more clarity on the different financing possibilities and schemes for wind power and the current financial regulatory framework for wind power developers. Furthermore they try to offer a comprehensive overview of the different development phases of wind projects in Vietnam from the administrative perspective.
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Up to now more than 40 wind power projects are in development in Vietnam, with capacities ranging from 6 MW to 800 MW. A few are already under construction or in the pre-feasibility/conceptualization stage. Four grid-connected wind power plants with capacities from 30 MW to 100 MW are in operation, as listed below.
Furthermore, around ten thousand 200-W battery charging wind turbines have been installed for household use, mainly in the central and southern regions. In addition a number of 150-W battery charging wind turbines have been installed at households in coastal areas of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.
Wind energy projects in operation:
- The Phu Lac Wind Farm was built to take advantage of average wind speeds around 6.8 m/s in Phu Lac (Binh Thuan province). The wind farm is in operation since 2016 and has a total capacity of 50 MW, consisting of 12 Vestas, V100 - 2MW turbines. The project developer is the Thuan Binh Wind Power Joint Stock Company. The total Investment sum is estimated to be 52 million USD. The project financing was aided with an official development assistance loan provided by the KfW Development Bank.
- Tuy Phong Wind Farm was built to take advantage of average wind speeds around 6.5m/s in Tuy Phong district, Binh Thuan province, Vietnam. The project developer, Vietnam Renewable Energy Joint Stock Company (REVN), has designed the Tuy Phong Wind Farm with a total capacity of 30MW, consisting out of 20 turbines each with 1.5MW to generate 85 million kWh per year. The total investment cost is VND 1,450 billion (USD 66 million equivalent) with a debt/equity ratio of 75/25. The debt financing was raised through local banks at interest rate of 6%. Equipment and machinery was supplied by Fuhrlaender, Germany. The wind farm is operational since September 2009 after 2 years of construction.
- Phu Quy Wind Farm was built to take advantage of average wind speeds around 6.7m/s in Phy Quy island district, Binh Thuan province, Vietnam. The project developer, Petrovietnam Power Renewable Energy Limited Company (PVP), has designed the Phu Quy Wind Farm with a total capacity of 6MW. Three 2 MW turbines generate 25.2 million kWh per year. The total investment cost is VND 335 billion (USD 17 million equivalent) with a debt/equity ratio of 70/30. Debt financing was provided through local commercial banks at interest rate of 8%. Equipment and machinery was supplied by Vestas, Denmark at a total cost of USD 9.7 million for 3 turbines. The development process took more than 2 years to complete: from November 2010 to January 2013. Since July 2012, electricity has been generated and allocated to the national power grid at 22 kV. 100% output off-take is guaranteed by EVN.
- Bac Lieu Wind Farm is located in Bac Lieu province, Vietnam. The project developer, Cong Ly Construction-Trade-Tourism, has designed Bac Lieu Wind Farm with a total capacity of 99.2MW; initially planned where 16 MW for Phase 1. The wind farm consists of 62 1.6MW turbines which generate 320 million kWh per year. The total investment cost is VND 5,200 billion (USD 228.9 million equivalent). In Phase 1, the project paid an interest rate of 8% for the debt financing of the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB). Subsequently, the project was able to seek USD 1.5 billion from EXIMBANK US funded via the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) at a preferential interest rate of 1%. Equipment and machinery was supplied by GE, USA. The development process started from September 2010 and was completed in May 2013 for Phase 1. In January 2016 the final phase was completed.
- The Bach Long Vy wind power plant with a capacity of 800 kW provided by one Made AE-52 turbine has been in operation since the end of 2004.
Wind energy projects under development in Vietnam include:
- The 55 MW Phuong Mai 3 wind power plant located in the central province of Binh Dinh province was stated to be constructed in September 2007. The investor of this project is Central Region Wind Power JS Company;
- The 30 MW Cau Dat Wind Power Plant located in Da Lat City, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is expected to be in operation in June 2011. The investor of this project is Cavico Transport Corporation;
- 2 MW wind power installation in Ly Son Island: The feasibility study has been completed by the Institute of Energy. EVN is the main project investor;
- 15 MW wind farm in Binh Dinh Province: The tender for equipment supply is currently open. The feasibility study was prepared by Phuong Mai Company;
- 84 MW Wind Power Project in Phuong Mai: The main investor is Grabowski Renewable Energy Company no. 1 Ltd;
- 2.5 MW wind project in Phu Quoc Island;
- 15 MW wind farm in Phu Yen Province. The project is owned by VINACONEX. IE prepared the feasibil ity study;
- 2.5 MW Wind Project in Co Dao Island: IE is currently undertaking the feasibility study.
- Wind Portal on energypedia
- Vietnam Energy Situation
- Support to the Up-scaling of Wind Power in Vietnam (GIZ)
- UPI Asia - Energy Resources Vietnam’s high wind power potential, Article, July 2009, Retrieved 28.7.2011 []
- GIZ(2016) Decision - Approval of the Revised National Power Development Master Plan (PDP VII revised) http://gizenergy.org.vn/en/knowledge-resources/giz-publications
- GIZ(2016) Highlights of the PDP 7 revised http://gizenergy.org.vn/en/knowledge-resources/giz-publications
- GIZ (2016) Wind Investment Guidelines Vol 1. Energy Support Program, Hanoi, http://gizenergy.org.vn/en/knowledge-resources/giz-publications
- EC-ASEAN energy facility 2007
- GIZ (2016) Wind Investment Guidelines Vol 2. Energy Support Program, Hanoi, http://gizenergy.org.vn/en/knowledge-resources/giz-publications