Despite the associated environmental problems, Vietnam cannot do without coal-fired power plants for another 15 years at least, experts say.
There is no current alternatives that can help Vietnam ensure energy security and maintain stable prices, they add.
There are several coal-fired plants in the pipeline, set to be built by 2025, including the Nam Dinh 1 and Thai Binh 2 in northern Vietnam, and even after 2035 the country will still need a small number of coal-fired plants to keep prices from rising too high, the Institute of Energy says in a comment on the country’s latest energy development plan.
Developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects to replace coal will lower energy security, and its costs will be around $2 billion a year higher than coal; while that of renewable energy will be $1 billion higher, the institute said.
In terms of environmental impacts of coal-fired plants, the institute said that Vietnam’s latest energy plan requires coal-fired plants to use advanced technology that consumes less power and protects the environment, according to VNExpress’s report.
Several localities, energy organizations and the Danish embassy have recommended that Vietnam develops no new coal-fired plants for the next 10 years to reduce harmful emissions.
They advised the development of solar, wind and LNG projects to make up for the reduction in coal-fired energy, they said.
In a tentative energy plan for the 2021-2030, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that of the nearly 80-gigawatt increase in generation capacity needed in the next decade, wind and solar power should contribute about 30 GW, with most of the rest coming from coal, gas and LNG fired plants.