The cost of developing new offshore wind power has dropped by 50 percent since 2015, and is now one of the lowest cost options for the new energy industry in the UK, cheaper than nuclear power and gas, British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said at a recent conference. The event, devoted to the “Critical role of Thanglong Wind in Vietnam’s economy”, was co-hosted by the British Embassy, Vietnam Energy Association and Enterprize Energy Group.
The UK is currently one of the leading countries in the field of wind power development in the world and it is eager to help exploit this resource in Vietnam, whose offshore wind resources are similar to its own. Currently, two offshore wind power projects of great economic value are set to be developed in Vietnam: the Thang Long offshore wind power project in the southern province of Binh Thuan and a similar project in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang being developed by UK investors.
According to Ian Hatton, Chair of Enterprize Energy Group, Vietnam has an estimated total wind capacity of about 513,360 MW, the largest in Southeast Asia. However, current wind power capacity is only at 200MW, divided into six projects.
ThangLong Wind project is a huge wind power project with a capacity of 3,400MW. Future Thanglong Wind power projects could offset energy shortages in Vietnam, especially in the south, which is at risk of power outages in the next few years due to transmission difficulties. In addition, with appropriate policies, reasonable power purchase contracts, and the use of certified technologies, international banks will ensure sufficient capital for the project construction. However, the project has not yet been officially included in the National Electricity Planning.
Chair of the Vietnam Energy Association (VEA) Tran Viet Ngai assessed that the government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) foresee severe electricity shortage from 2020 to 2023.
Continued delays in the National Power Development Plan VII projects will means continued shortage until 2030 and resulting in major economic pressure. The ThangLong Wind project is a breakthrough that could be sufficient to alleviate power shortages and is therefore meaningful to Vietnam’s economy.
The project seeks government approval to supplement the National Power Development Plan VII by mid-2020 so that investors can implement it by 2023, when the first units begin generating electricity, said VEA Chairman Tran Viet Ngai.
ThangLong Wind project has great potential for Vietnam’s economy. The project, if successful, will optimize Vietnam’s internal resources in the design, processing and manufacturing industries.