This is the content of an online workshop co-organized by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on 25th November. Although Vietnam has a large potential for biomass power, the exploitation of biomass resources is limited, said Phạm Nguyên Hùng, deputy head of Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy under MoIT. Specifically, in 2020, the biomass power installed capacity accounted for less than 1% of the total installed capacity of 75,000 MW in and only 0.1% were feeding into the grid.
The Government of Vietnam has issued many mechanisms; however, the installed biomass power capacity is presently modest. It requires a better solution to attract investors to strengthen the development of biomass power capacity. Mathias Eichelbronner, a GIZ expert, stated that the current mechanism of Feed-in-Tariff (FIT under Decision No. 08/2020/QĐ-TTg released in 2020) in Vietnam is not attractive enough and can only promote low-efficiency biomass power technologies. Vietnam should consider policies to promote more modern technologies and larger capacities in the next 10 – 20 years in response to investment efficiency. Particularly, it requires a mechanism to support people living in areas that provide raw biomass materials and support mechanization towards the goal of low carbon energy development.
Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, from the Institute of Energy under MoIT, showed additional challenges against the development of biomass power in Vietnam including seasonal change of fuel price, initial investment capital, lack of development experiences, and skilled engineers & workers. He mentioned the most difficult problem while developing projects for developers is competition in land planning for fuel production and for agriculture and forestry.
Biomass is globally the fourth largest energy source, accounting for 14 – 15% of world energy consumption. Vietnam has a huge potential for biomass energy resources including agricultural residues (e.g., bagasse, straw, rice husks, coffee husk, coir, wood residues), waste, urban wastewater, etc. If these resources are not utilized or treated, they will be enormous pollution sources, causing adverse impacts on nature and human health. Additionally, biomass energy can significantly help Vietnam achieve the commitment on Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC under Paris Agreement), green growth strategy, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2030). Annually, there are 60 million tons of biomass generated from agricultural residues, of which 40% is utilized for the energy demand of households and power production. Presently, there are about 10 biomass power projects in Vietnam. Nevertheless, only three projects have capacity recognized on the National Load Dispatch Center (i.e., feeding in the national grid) including a plant in Phú Yên industrial zone, An Khê plant in Gia Lai, and Bourbon plan in Tây Ninh.
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Sources & further information: “Kinh nghiệm phát triển dự án điện sinh khối tại Việt Nam” at https://www.moitruongvadothi.vn, “Điện sinh khối: tiềm năng phát triển và thách thức về giá nguyên liệu” at https://thesaigontimes.vn, “Chia sẻ kinh nghiệm phát triển dự án điện sinh khối tại Việt Nam” at https://tietkiemnangluong.com.vn, “Another step in developing renewable energy in Vietnam: Increase of biomass FIT has been approved’ at http://gizenergy.org.vn, and “Climate Protection through Sustainable Bioenergy Markets in Viet Nam (BEM)” at https://www.giz.de, accessed on 1 December 2021.