The Ministry of Industry and Trade last week asked the government to restructure the power supply system so that power prices are really set by the market.
In a note sent to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung over the weekend about solving power shortages in the hot season, the ministry said the government should quickly separate different stages in the power system generation, transmission and trading to create competition in the field.
Until now, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has had monopolistic control over the purchase transmission and distribution of power.
The ministry said power shortages over the past several years have been caused by droughts and very high demand, but also due to the organization of the power system.
The current all-in-one system will not create a transparent environment to attract investors to develop new sources of energy, the ministry argued.
It also blamed the shortages on delays of more than a year for new power plants to become operational.
If power shortages continue in the coming years, the ministry said in the note it would suggest reducing the amount of power used at steel, cement and chemical plants, which consume a lot of power and also create significant environmental pollution.