National Assembly Committee on Science, Technology and Environment gathered to review the government’s report on reviewing the hydropower development master plan in Hanoi on October 26.

The government reported that it has approved the removal of six potential large and 418 small hydropower projects from the national plan. These plants are deemed to have low effectiveness while likely to cause negative environmental and social impacts.

The Government was also unanimous in suspending work on another 136 projects.

After the review, Vietnam now has 815 hydropower projects in its national plan, including 268 that are already operational and 205 others under construction.

According to initial verification of the report conducted by the NA committee, the planning quality for small-scale plants is generally low. While small ones account for almost 90 percent of the total plants in the national master plan, their combined designed capacity contribute only 26 percent of the projected electricity output.

Addressing the session, NA Vice Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said hydropower plays a crucial role in ensuring national energy security and socio-economic development.

She noted that this source of power made up more than 48 percent of the country’s capacity for electricity generation and 44 percent of the national electricity output last year.

Hydroelectricity power plants are also involved in controlling flooding and droughts, ensuring a sufficient water supply, job generation and socio-economic development.

However, several incidents at hydro electric power plants are causing public concern, so it is necessary to clarify the responsibilities of stakeholders and the solutions and detailed tasks in the time ahead, according to the vice chairwoman.

Regarding land clearance for hydro power plant construction, delegates said the implementation of facilities in resettlement areas does not meet requirements due to the poor quality of farming lands in these zones and the lack of water supply, which create negative effects on local people’s livelihoods.

They also suggested that government report need to provide more details about incidents at operating hydropower plants as well as the causes of the problems, in addition to revealing their impact on the environment.-VNA