Masterplan much needed for energy development

Friday, May 10, 2013 11:53

Illustrative image.— VNS File Photo

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Viet Nam should create a master plan for the national energy system, said President of Viet Nam Energy Association (VEA) Tran Viet Ngai at a forum on energy and oil investment and sustainable development held in Ha Noi yesterday.

Currently the electricity, coal, oil and renewable energy industries all have their own development plans, he said, so "prices of energy used for production of other energy have had shortcomings."

As an example, he said, the price of coal sold to thermo-electricity plants was not equal to production cost.

Ngai emphasized that if the sector did not resolve this issue, it would be difficult to draw foreign investors into build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects. "VEA suggests that the Government approve electricity planning after completing primary energy plans for coal, oil and renewable energy. In addition, every energy plan should have an orientation to 10 years," he added.

Doan Van Binh, head of the Institute of Energy Science (IES), said Viet Nam's economic growth had stayed at the high rate of five to eight per cent, resulting in increased energy consumption – particularly for electricity, with annual consumption growing by 14 per cent.

"The high consumption will cause energy shortages in the future, forcing the country to build more power plants," Binh warned.

Viet Nam's hydro-power plants will generate about 80 billion kWh by 2015 while renewable energy is expected to supply less than 10,000MW. Electricity shortages were forecast to reach up to 50 billion kWh by 2030.

Nguyen An Tuan from the Institute of Energy agreed that Viet Nam faced a major challenge when it came to energy security and sustainable development, as demand for primary energies would be 250 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) by 2030, five times higher than 2010.

The country would have to import coal for electricity production by 2015, forcing it to depend on the world energy supply and prices, he said.

To solve the issue, he suggested expanding exploration and exploitation of domestic and foreign energy resources, including developing renewable energy. "It is necessary to develop a competitive energy market and use energy more effectively. In addition, we should make energy production less polluting to protect the environment," he said. — VNS

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