Wind, solar power can help Vietnam solve energy problem: experts

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A wind power plant in the southern province of Bac Lieu that has been connected to the national power grid. Photo: Tran Thanh Phong A wind power plant in the southern province of Bac Lieu that has been connected to the national power grid. Photo: Tran Thanh Phong

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Greater energy efficiency and expansion in renewables could help Vietnam meet an expected 7-10 percent increase in power demand each year through 2030, experts said at a recent conference.
The country needs to tap into various energy sources, including coal, natural gas, wind, solar and hydropower, to ensure sustainable, reliable and affordable power supply amid growing power demand, they said at the conference in Hanoi on Wednesday.
Low-carbon development may help boost economic growth in the long run, according to a report issued at the conference.
Vietnam has a high share of renewable energy in the total generation mix, with hydropower accounting for 42 percent of power generation, much higher than that of many other countries.
However, even if Vietnam fully taps into its potential in renewable energy, it may still not be able to fully meet future energy demand. 
“To ensure the financial sustainability of the power sector, Vietnam needs to promote effective competition and ensure large public and private sector investment,” said Anita Marangoly George, Senior Director, Energy and Extractives of the World Bank.
Since 1990, the proportion of Vietnamese population with access to electricity has jumped to 98 percent from 54 percent.
Over the two decades, 10 million households, with 40 million people, have gained access to electricity, mainly through rural electrification under the national poverty reduction program.

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