Hydropower plant 3 in the northern mountain province of Cao Bang's Bao Lam district (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Vietnam could face a power shortage in the near future due to surging demand and development difficulties.

The warning was made at a seminar held in HCM City on May 28 to ensure energy security.

According to experts, the hydroelectricity source with the lowest price has been exploited to its full potential; domestic gas reserves are gradually depleting and could not guarantee gas to power.

In terms of renewable energy, there is little investment in wind power projects, while solar power is on the rise but depends on weather.

There are 332 solar power projects proposed with a total capacity of about 26,200MW by 2030.

Hydroelectric power is estimated to decrease from more than 25 percent in 2020 to 12.4 percent in 2030, while coal-fired thermal power will increase slightly from 49.3 percent to 53.2 percent, according to Le Van Luc, deputy head of Electricity and Renewable Energy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The gas thermal power is predicted to be almost unchanged, accounting for nearly 17 percent. In particular, renewable energy is estimated to increase from 6.5 percent to 10.7 percent.

According to the adjusted power plan VII, from 2016 to 2020, the total capacity of the planned coal power sources is 13,850MW.

In 2021-25 period, the coal power source will be 21,600MW and 8,700MW in 2026-30.

By 2030, the electricity production of coal-fired thermal power plants will account for 53.2 percent of the total electricity output of the power system.

So coal power remains the best option as the cheap and reliable source, according to experts.

But many coal-fired power projects are in slow progress due to lack of funding, low capacity of investors and lack of support owing to environmental pollution concerns.

All these reasons would affect the electric supply in the future, Luc said.

Alternative sources including gas and renewable energy will also significantly increase future electricity prices.

Dr Truong Duy Nghia, chairman of the Vietnam Thermal Science and Technology Association, said in the next 30-40 years, coal-fired power still accounts for a major proportion of the total electricity output worldwide.

According to energy experts, in the 2020-30 period and beyond, it is necessary to ensures progress and have a mechanism to accelerate the project implementation progress in order to have stable power supply and suitable for the country's socio-economic development needs.

The power sector should have back-up energy sources to meet the surging demand of power, experts said.-VNA