CMC – Despite huge potential for renewable energy development, Vietnam has found it hard to attract investments and expand operational projects due to low electricity prices and lack of policy incentives.
At a seminar on clean energy in HCMC, experts were of the opinion that Vietnam still relies heavily on limited fossil energy sources. This has prompted the Government to work out plans for renewable energydevelopment.
The nation may have to pay a dear price for the environment and the local economy in the future if the Government fails to change energy policy and find suitable measures to develop the sector, they said.
Vietnam has many favorable conditions to develop clean energy sources such as wind, solar power and gases from landfills, and a number of projects have been deployed in the sector in recent times.
Sundar Venkataraman, technical director at General Electric Energy Consulting Co., said Vietnam has potential for wind powerdevelopment and that many investors have expressed interest in the industry. Wind farms require high investments but their operation cost is lower than thermal power plants as they need no fuel.
According to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), many U.S. companies are seeking to expand investments in the energy sector in Vietnam. However, a lack of supporting policies, difficult capital mobilization and unattractive electricity prices for green energy are their major concerns.
Gavin Smith, director of Clean Development Fund at Dragon Capital, said the Government has not thrown strong support behind renewable energy projects in the country and the legal framework in this area is still underdeveloped.
The low buying prices for wind and biomass power prices make it difficult for companies to invest in projects in this sector.
To make the most of renewable energy potential in Vietnam, investors want the Government to issue support policy for power prices and encourage banks to finance renewable energy projects.