Wind, solar power projects in Vietnam stall during pandemic period
Instead of rushing to build wind and solar power plants as seen a year ago, investors now have no other choice but to wait.
A wind power project in Soc Trang province invested in by Ecotech Vietnam was suspended after it kicked off earlier this year.
“We have granted workers leave as per the government’s request. Contractors are also off. State agencies have postponed meetings and don’t provide services, except extreme urgent services,” he said.
According to Tung, one of the problems in wind power development is the limited number of turbine manufacturing factories in the world. Feveloping large-scale wind power projects is a growing tendency in the region. Vietnam has to compete with other regional developers in both price and delivery time.
|If ordering turbines in March 2020, investors will only get delivery in March 2021. However, because of Covid-19, turbine manufacturing factories are facing difficulties themselves, so the prices have increased and the delivery time has been extended, which affect the investment process.|
If ordering turbines in March 2020, investors will only get delivery in March 2021. However, because of Covid-19, turbine manufacturing factories are facing difficulties themselves, so the prices have increased and the delivery time has been extended, which affect the investment process.
Tung’s Ecotech Vietnam is just one of many investors who are in a dilemma.
According to Bui Van Thinh, chair of the Binh Thuan provincial Wind Power Association, many wind power projects under execution may not be able to complete construction and operate prior to November 1, 2021 to be able to enjoy the electricity selling price of 8.5-9.8 cent per kwh.
Thinh said investors can only make a profit if they can put their plants into operation prior to that time, borrow capital at reasonable interest rates, and choose suitable equipment.
It takes 12-18 months to build a wind power plant, while a solar power plant id just 5-12 months.
Thinh said the association asked the government to extend the policy on prioritizing clean power development until the end of 2022. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) suggested extending the policy until 2023.
Solar power investors were relieved when MOIT fixed the new solar power price.
Under the latest decision, the price of 7.09 cent per kwh will be applied to projects which received investment licenses prior to November 23, 2019 and began commercial operation between from July 1, 2019 anf December 31, 2020.
However, solar power investors were worried about the implementation of their projects. They cannot do anything because of social distancing, but it is difficult to buy equipment.
Regarding the electricity price, Tung said the price of solar power, which is even lower than EVN’s retail price, will not encourage clean energy development.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries limiting customs clearance, solar power enterprises with manufacturing plants in Vietnam are still taking advantage of the domestic market to serve customers and sustain growth.
The plants are Loc Ninh 1, Loc Ninh 2, Loc Ninh 3 and Loc Ninh 4 with a total installed capacity of 750 megawatts.