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Vietnam Electricity (EVN) Eyes Greener Power Sources But Has to Rely on Coal to Avoid Blackouts

Vietnam Electricity (EVN) Eyes Greener Power Sources But Has to Rely on Coal to Avoid Blackouts

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Key Impact Points:

• EVN’s progress in integrating renewable energy sources.
• Continued reliance on coal to ensure stable electricity supply.
• Challenges in balancing energy transition with growing demand.

Operational Highlights:
Vietnam Electricity (EVN) reported electricity production of 21.05 billion kWh in May 2024, with a significant portion still coming from coal-fired plants to prevent blackouts. Despite this, EVN is making strides in incorporating renewable energy, with solar and wind power now comprising 12% of the energy mix.

In May, power production of the whole system reached 28.09 billion kWh, an increase of 11.3% over the same period in 2023. Accumulated in the first 5 months of 2024, power production reached 124.25 billion kWh, an increase of 12.2% over the same period in 2023.

Output and mobilization proportion of all types of power sources in the whole system in 5 months are as follows:

• Hydropower: 19.08 billion kWh, accounting for 15.4%.
• Coal thermal power: 73.97 billion kWh, accounting for 59.5%.
• Gas turbines: 11.17 billion kWh, accounting for 9%.
• Renewable energy: 17.62 billion kWh, accounting for 14.2% (solar power: 11.64 billion kWh, wind power: 5.38 billion kWh).
• Imported power: 2.02 billion kWh, accounting for 1.6%.

Energy Transition Efforts:
EVN’s initiatives focus on increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency. In May, EVN launched campaigns promoting energy-saving measures, reaching over 1 million households. They have achieved a 10% reduction in energy intensity through efficiency measures. “Balancing economic growth with sustainable practices remains our primary goal,” said an EVN spokesperson. Additionally, they are developing new projects to boost renewable energy capacity by 4,000 MW by 2025.

Challenges and Reliance on Coal:
Despite progress in renewables, EVN faces challenges such as the peak load demand of 41,500 MW in May, stressing the grid. To ensure stability, coal remains a critical component. “Adapting to stringent environmental standards while meeting demand is our key challenge,” noted the spokesperson. Over 50% of the energy mix still relies on coal, highlighting the transition difficulties.

Looking Forward:
In June 2024, EVN aims to enhance power system operations and further its energy transition goals. Plans include increasing the share of renewables to 20% by 2025 while managing the critical reliance on coal for stability. They also intend to invest in smart grid technologies to improve efficiency and reliability.

Related Article: CIF Allocates $500M for Philippines’ Transition from Coal to Renewable Energy

EVN’s focus on a greener future highlights its commitment to sustainable development, though coal remains essential for meeting current energy demands. The path to a sustainable energy mix is marked by balancing immediate needs with long-term goals.

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