Experts urge to develop hydropower resource

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 11:11

View of Lai Châu hydroelectric plant in the northern province of Lai Châu. With abundant hydroelectric resources, Việt Nam can continue to exploit a maximum capacity of 30,000-38,000MW. — VNA/VNS Photo

The Government should increase the exploitation of hydropower in the context of increasing electricity demand as the potential of the resource remains large, experts said.

According to Việt Nam’s Power Development Plan No 8 with a vision to 2030, the total designed capacity of the country’s hydropower resource will reach 29,346MW and the exploited power output can stand at 101.7 billion kWh per year. The numbers are expected to increase to more than 36,000MW and 114 billion kWh per year, respectively, by 2050.

By the end of 2023, the total designed capacity of the country’s hydropower resource was nearly 23,000MW and the exploited power output was more than 80 billion kWh.

According to experts, with abundant hydroelectric resources, Việt Nam can continue to exploit a maximum designed capacity of 30,000-38,000MW and the power output can reach up to 120 billion kWh per year.

Meanwhile, hydropower is considered a perfect and reliable resource thanks to its flexible power generation capabilities.

According to energy expert Dr. Nguyễn Huy Hoạch, with low operating costs, hydroelectric plants are the most flexible and reasonable resource in Việt Nam's electricity system. In particular, storage technologies, such as pumped storage and battery storage hydropower, will help complement and support each other in the power system in the future.

Hoạch said with 41 large hydropower plants with a total designed capacity of 14,330MW that are under operation and can be expanded, the remaining potential of hydropower is huge.

Hà Đăng Sơn, director of the Center for Energy and Green Development, said that investment in expanding a number of existing hydropower plants will allow to provide a peak capacity for the power system and reach a reasonable level in using the rivers' water resources.

Besides, when hydroelectric plants are expanded, they will provide a significant amount of additional energy and improve the electricity quality for the system.

According to experts, the expansion of existing hydropower plants does not increase negative impacts on the environment because they do not change the current scale of dams and reservoirs.

Many countries are taking advantage of available water resources from irrigation lakes to arrange hydropower plants downstream of dams to fully exploit this artificial hydropower source.

Việt Nam has more than 7,000 dams and reservoirs in operation to serve for agriculture, industry and daily life, with a total storage capacity of about 14.5 billion cubic metres. It will be a great advantage for Việt Nam if the country can build hydroelectric plants behind the dams and reservoirs.

Hoạch suggests it is necessary to survey all irrigation dams and reservoirs to see whether building hydroelectric plants behind them is possible to increase flexible power resources for the system.

As for pumped storage hydropower, Hoạch said Việt Nam has nine locations that can be built pumped storage hydropower plants with a total capacity of 12,500MW.

According to the Power Development Plan No 8, there will be 2,700MW of capacity from pumped storage hydropower by 2030 and the number will increase to 39,700MW by 2050. — VNS

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