Coal to lead Vietnam power generation over next decade, says GlobalData

During the period 2020–2030, the renewable power generation in Vietnam is expected to increase its share from 5.1% of the total generation to 17.4%. Despite this, it is estimated that coal power generation will reach 177.7TWh by 2030 contributing almost 39% of the total power generation in the country maintaining its current dominance, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Vietnam Power Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2021 – Market Trends, Regulations, and Competitive Landscape’, Vietnam’s power consumption will increase from 217.1TWh in 2020 to 361.5TWh in 2030. In 2020, the total power generation in Vietnam stood at 241.1TWh, of which 104.9TWh (or 43.5%) was sourced from coal-fired power plants.

In February 2020, the National Steering Committee for Power Development presented a proposal to scale back the development of new coal plants owing to financial restrictions and local environmental concerns. Similarly, in March 2021, Japan’s ‘Mitsubishi Corporation’ announced its withdrawal from the development of 2GW coal-fired power plant owing to concerns over climate impact.

Aditya Sharma, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Vietnam has become one of the major industrial hubs in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The country has already abandoned its nuclear power development plan due to financial issues. Moreover, hydropower generation has a very volatile nature threatened by lower rainfalls and a series of abnormal weather patterns in recent years.”

Although the government plans to significantly increase its renewable power capacity by 2030, it will not be enough to sustain the country’s growing demand. Rapid development of renewable power projects has led to grid overload owing to inefficient grid management and poor grid infrastructure resulting in the restriction of renewable power growth.

Mr. Sharma concludes: “As a result, Vietnam is increasing its coal-powered generation to sustain the growing demand. Within the last five years, Vietnam has turned from net coal exporter to net importer. Vietnam’s coal imports increased by more than 50% year-on-year in the first half of 2020.”

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