Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The power sector will meet difficulties in meeting demand from next year or 2020 considering the high growth at more than 10 percent a year in electricity consumption, according to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) group.

At a review conference of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on July 9, EVN Chairman Duong Quang Thanh said the increase in electricity output over the past years did not catch up with the growth of demand. 

According to Thanh, electricity generation capacity was raised by 3,000 MW in the past period while demand grew by 4,000-5,000 MW.

The group has reported the problem to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and suggested several solutions, including raising oil-fuelled electricity output to ensure supply in 2019 and 2020, he said, adding that it will put high pressure on the group’s financial capacity but there is no other more feasible choice.  

As from 2020 and beyond, the group is negotiating the purchase of electricity from regional countries, especially from Laos, and investors of solar power plants.

The EVN urged the Ministry of Industry and Trade to early issue a price framework to facilitate power purchase negotiations with Laos.

The group also proposed buying more electricity from China, at about 3-4 billion kWh from the present level of 1.2-1.5 billion kWh.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the ministry will accelerate the development of the price framework for electricity purchase from Laos.

He also acknowledged the difficulties facing the power sector. At the same time, he urged the sector to continue working on its outstanding issues such as completing the competitive electricity market, the electricity generation market and restructuring enterprises in the sector.

The minister said the power sector should work to diversify sources of energy supply, ensure the energy system safety and improve energy use efficiency towards the overall goal of meeting energy demand for national socio-economic development.

According to reports at the conference, the electricity sector posted a 10.4 percent growth in the first half of this year, generating an estimated 99.68 billion kWh of electricity, up 10.3 percent year on year, while commercial electricity was estimated at 91.48 billion kWh.-VNA