The wind power development not only contributes to ensuring long-term power security for Vietnam but also promotes green growth by considerably reducing CO2 emissions, according to sector insiders.

With over 3,000 kilometres of coastline and numerous islands within its national boundaries, Vietnam has one of the largest wind power potentials in Southeast Asia with a total estimated capacity of 24,000 megawatts, equal to the combined capacity of all the currently existing thermoelectric plants consuming high levels of imported coals.

Wind power development in Vietnam has been sluggish, in part because the sustainable interests of this energy source are not fully understood coupled with limited technology and high costs, according to energy experts.

Incorporating plans for wind power development in the national power planning strategy through 2020 will help decision-makers understand potential reductions in CO2 emission and the other benefits wind power could offer the nation.

To achieve power security and environmental protection, the Vietnamese Government is focusing on developing clean and renewable energy sources.

Vietnamese energy scientists used the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning System to simulate the national energy system and forecast the country’s 2030 energy demand with wind power replacing thermoelectric plants, generating the resulting CO2 emission levels.

If plans for wind power development move forward as planned, Vietnam would avoid 10.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2030, with total reductions from 2010 to 2030 amounting to 66.6 million tonnes.

According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade , Vietnam currently has 48 wind power projects with a combined capacity of 5,000 megawatts registered at different stages and mainly located in central and southern provinces.

Only two wind power projects have thus far commenced operation; one in Tuy Phong district, Binh Thuan with a capacity of 30 megawatts generated from 20 turbines, and the second in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu with 10 turbines producing 16 megawatts.

According to the national power plan through 2020, wind power is being prioritised and encouraged to fulfil the target of installing a combined capacity of 1,000 megawatts by 2020 and 6,200 megawatts by 2030.-VNA