In Vietnam, electricity outages can leave homes and businesses without power for hours at a time.
However, a new national energy plan, called Power Development Plan 8, or PDP8, aims to increase Vietnam’s energy production.
Government planners hope PDP8 will more than double possible electricity production in Vietnam. The goal is to generate up to 150 gigawatts by 2030.
The plan includes a big change away from coal and towards renewable energy. PDP8 aims to produce more electricity from wind, solar, hydropower and other renewable sources to make up almost 50 percent of total power capacity.
However, the plan also aims to increase use of gas and imported liquified natural gas (LNG) for up to about 25 percent of power capacity.
Under the plan, no new coal power stations can be built after 2030. The total amount of power from coal will likely increase by 2030. But planners said it will be a smaller percentage of total power production. That percentage is likely to be about 20 percent. Currently, Vietnam uses coal to produce about 30 percent of its electricity.
The plan also calls for Vietnam to stop using coal for power production by 2050.
However, paying for the plan might be difficult. Vietnamese planners aim to spend nearly $135 billion on new power plants and electricity grids until 2030.
The German government warned Vietnam’s arrest of environmental activists could hurt financing for its energy plans.
The G-7 group of big economies, including the United States, promised $15.5 billion in financing for Vietnam to end using coal-powered plants. The promise is a part of the Just Energy Transition Partnership similar to one reached with another Southeast Asian nation, Indonesia.
Problems with gas supplies from Russia have increased gas prices and demand for LNG. However, investors want renewable sources, said Trang Nguyen. She is leader of the Southeast Asia team at the Climateworks Centre, a non-profit research group based in Australia. She said it might be difficult to get financing for LNG.
Aditya Lolla leads the Asia program at Ember, a policy group based in London. He said that problems with gas supplies because of the war in Ukraine might push Vietnam back to using coal. He added that would be more likely to happen if more of the country’s electricity is not produced by renewable energy sources.
In July 2022, Vietnam passed a law promising to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. That means the country would not add any additional carbon gases to the atmosphere by that time.
I’m Andrew Smith
Victoria Milko wrote this story for The Associated Press. Andrew Smith adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
outage –n. a situation where something that is normally available is cut off, such as electricity
capacity –n. the amount of something that can be produced in a set period of time
electricity grid –n. a system of producing, transporting and providing electricity to people in a large area
source –n. what provides some service or good such as electricity
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