Solar energy in Vietnam: Trends, opportunities and challenges

Thuong Duong at renewable energy conference
Vietnam Country Manager Thuong Duong

Vietnam Country Manager Thuong Duong recently chaired a leading renewable energy conference in Ho Chi Minh City. We spoke to him to hear what he learned at the conference and what the future holds for solar energy in Vietnam in the coming years.

Hello Thuong! What is the current situation in Vietnam regarding renewable energy? 

The use of solar energy in Vietnam has been booming for several years. Increasing energy demand and at the same time rising energy costs have led to a growing awareness of renewable energy. So far, 6 GWp of solar capacity has been installed in the country – 2 GWp in the last 10 months alone! But there’s still a lot of room for improvement. So far, the share of solar energy in the country’s electricity capacity is barely 10.2%, with the rest coming mainly from coal or hydropower plants.

How did this development in the use of renewables come about?

Large commercial and industrial companies in particular are increasingly switching to solar power. Industrial and commercial companies are often particularly interesting for investors as end customers, since they have a good economic standing and can grow sustainably and in the long term with the help of solar power. Generous feed-in tariffs have created additional incentives for the use of solar power in recent years. 

Are there other factors driving the use of solar power?

There are, especially the new Direct Power Purchase Agreements. These agreements make it possible for all energy producers to sell and deliver their electricity directly to end customers without having to go through the state energy company EVN. This is especially interesting for companies that want to switch completely to electricity from renewable sources and can thus ensure that their electricity is really green. Since the demand for this green electricity is constantly rising, the number of photovoltaic plants in the country is also increasing rapidly.

But surely there are also risks associated with solar projects?

Of course, the solar industry is not immune to risks. Changes in the law, currency fluctuations or inflation can also affect this industry and are difficult to avert. However, risks from the areas of finance and construction technology can be kept at a very low level by applying high quality standards and carefully checking partners. This is also how ecoligo operates, only recommending projects for the crowdinvesting process that meet all criteria and whose risk can be kept as low as possible.

What is your conclusion after the conference? How do you see the future of solar energy in Vietnam?

I am sure that the development we are currently seeing in Vietnam is just the beginning and will continue for a long time. I am already excited about the many projects that we will install in the coming months.

Thanks for the insights, Thuong! We’re looking forward to it too.