That is the statement of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) about the newest draft National Power Development Plan VIII (draft PDP 8) to the concerns of the local experts about the continuation of coal power use for another 10 years and the development of coal-fired plants by 2045. The MoIT reasons the draft PDP 8 did include the coal-fired projects in Vietnam, however, it will not consider developing new coal-fired power plants to protect the environment. The Ministry will instead replace these plants with more environmentally-friendly liquefied natural gas sources. It will only develop the coal-fired power plant projects which were approved by the Prime Minister in the revised Power Development Plan VII. Additionally, renewable energy, not including hydropower, will be increased from the present capacity of 17,000 MW to 31,600 MW, accounting for 24.3% of the total capacity of the whole system by 2030. In the draft PDP 8, coal-fired power plants make up ca. 31% of the total by 2030 in the baseload scenario and ca. 28% in the high load scenario. The draft PDP 8 is still in the process of collecting comments.
Vietnam is ranked the second position of power consumption in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. Coal-fired power remains the major energy supply source in the country. Coal-fired power plants account for about 36% of the total installed capacity and have considerably increased in the period 2010 to 2019. Until May 2021, the electricity output from these plants provides approx. 52% of the total electricity output of the whole system. Vietnam has also shifted from a net coal exporter to a net importer, within the past five years.
Vietnam is among five Asian countries that plan to develop new coal-fired power plants, which account for the majority (80%) of the new coal power plants worldwide, according to the Carbon Tracker group.
Sources & further information: “Bộ Công thương: ‘Quy hoạch điện 8 giảm điện than, tăng điện tái tạo’” at https://thanhnien.vn, “Quy hoạch điện VIII: Tăng điện than, gác điện gió” at https://thanhnien.vn, and “MoIT to minimise new coal-fired power plants” at https://vietnamnews.vn, accessed on 30 September 2021.