Hanoi (VNA) – Boasting a coastline of more than 3,200 kilometres, and windy coastal areas, Vietnam has huge potential to develop offshore wind electricity, experts have said.

A representative from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MonRE) said that Vietnam has favourable conditions for wind power generation as it has abundant and strong offshore wind resources.  

Meanwhile, the World Bank said Vietnam has the greater potential for wind power development than other Southeast Asian countries, estimating the nation’s offshore wind potential to range up to 513,360 MW.

The potential capacity from wind power is 200 times higher than that of the Son La Hydropower Plant, and more than ten times more than total forecast capacity of Vietnam’s electricity industry in 2020.

According to MoNRE, Vietnam enjoys enviable natural potential for wind capacity, with a long coastline and winds that blow from 5.5 to 7.3 metres per second. Ideal sea areas for wind power development include the water from the south central province of Binh Dinh to the south central province of Ninh Thuan. Also, the south central province of Binh Thuan to the southern province of Ca Mau, and part of the water within the Gulf of Tonkin.

To be more specific, in the sea area to the north of the Gulf of Tonkin, winds blow from the east to the northeast at a speed of 6-8 metres per second, with wind energy of about 500W per square metre.

The sea area from the central province of Quang tri to the central province of Quang Ngai has wind speeds of up to 6-8 metres per second on average, with wind energy of up to 400W per square metre.

The sea area from the south central province of Ninh Thuan to the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau sees wind speeds of 8-10 metres per second on average and wind energy at more than 700W per square metre. This makes it one of the areas with the highest potential of generating electricity from wind energy in the country.

Vietnam topography huge potential for wind power development hinh anh 1Vietnam has huge potential to develop wind power (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Forecasts from wind power experts show that wind power from the country’s sea will continue to increase, alongside wind power from mainland, reaching 100GW and higher by 2030.

Large areas of sea have potential for developing offshore wind power constructions, according to PhD Du Van Toan from the Vietnam Institute of Seas and Islands. He cited the 142,000 square-kilometre sea area in the southern region and the 44,000 square-kilometre sea area from the central province of Binh Thuan to the southernmost province of Ca Mau.

Statistics from 1,500 wind farms in the country (some are in the process of developing further) in the last decade show that the average wind speed of 7-12.5m per second at 100m above sea level generates the most wind power, which is highly effective for consumption and trade.  

Projects exploiting wind power in Vietnam are developing well, especially two major wind farms in the southern province of Bac Lieu and the southernmost province of Ca Mau, which are expected to generate 1,000 MW of wind power by 2020 and 2025, respectively.

With this high potential Vietnam should establish a wind energy development strategy which includes developing wind power construction on the sea, said Toan.

“We will be able to further develop the economy and prevent landslides and land erosion if we know how to utilise wind power resources together with other sources of power such as solar power, wave power, ocean thermal energy conversion, as well as biomass energy and aquaculture,” he said.

Box:  Vietnam will increase offshore wind power capacity to 4 GW from 1 GW and onshore wind power capacity to nearly 17.34 GW from about 1.26 GW by 2030, according to the latest draft of the National Power Development Plan VIII.

According to the World Bank’s Offshore Wind Roadmap for Vietnam, Vietnam can have an offshore win power capacity of 5 – 19 GW by 2030, generating around 60 billion USD in Gross Value Added for the country./.