Vietnam currently lacks a developed solar PV sector, but the range of possible market scenarios for PV in the country are much wider and potentially more promising than most other regional countries examined by ClearSky Advisors.
Vietnam currently lacks a developed solar PV sector, but the range of possible market scenarios for PV in the country are much wider and potentially more promising than most other regional countries examined by ClearSky Advisors. While the absence of any policy-based driver has been a significant barrier to the growth of solar PV in Vietnam, it can with the right formula, become a regional solar PV powerhouse.
Vietnam has experienced and is expected to continue to see a massive increase in both electricity demand and the necessary generation capacity required to meet this demand. Driven primarily by economic growth and rising per capita electricity usage, Vietnam’s consumption has grown by over 10% per year since 2000. According to the country’s Power Development Plan VII (PDP VII), these factors will necessitate the addition of approximately 47,000MW of new capacity by 2020, translating to an annual rate of installation of 5,875MW/year.
Based on the renewable energy targets set out in the PDP VII, PV could account for as much as 2,250 GW by 2020. More likely, a much more conservative number will be targeted over the mid- to long-term. Unlike their plans for wind and biomass energy generation, official government plans have not specifically designated solar technologies as a key part of their short-term development schedule. Yet, those plans do leave room for significant further renewable energy generation. So the long-term prospects for solar remain encouraging despite a lack of short-term development.
Historically, solar PV installations in Vietnam have been limited to low levels of off-grid residential and a small number of grid-tied commercial-scale projects. The larger commercial-scale projects have been typically initiated by large multinationals operating in the country or as government-led demonstration projects. Given the country’s low level of installed solar PV capacity, any movement towards meeting the PDP VII goals through solar PV, even at conservative levels would result in the significant growth of this sector.