GIF approves $1.5m in funding to support Viet Nam’s Solar Pilot Auction Programme

Thursday, Dec 19, 2019 15:44

Solar panels are installed on the rooftop of the Central Power Electronic Measurement Equipment Manufacturing Center. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

The Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) has approved US$1.5 million in funding to support the World Bank’s work with Viet Nam’s Government on the Solar Pilot Auction Programme.

The GIF, working with the World Bank’s Energy Global Practice, will help the Vietnamese Government to design and structure the auction programme to transition from a feed-in tariff regime to a sustainable competitive auction scheme for solar generation.

The programme is expected to help address Viet Nam’s increased demand for energy and promote inclusive growth by strengthening the enabling environment for the private sector.

“We’re working closely with the Government to bring more private resources to the energy sector where the needs are huge and urgent,” Ousmane Dione, World Bank’s Country Director for Viet Nam, said in its press release.

“GIF’s support comes at a critical time to help the country overcome multiple remaining obstacles to further develop solar power, including financing and risk allocation,” Dione said.

The Solar Competitive Bidding Programme by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is part of the Vietnamese Government’s broader efforts to accelerate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy to increase the country’s diversification of electricity generation and reduce CO2 emissions.

The country aims to bring 12GW of solar energy onto the grid by 2030.

“This would be the first solar auction programme to be implemented in Viet Nam, which would have large scale replicability. We are pleased to support the Government of Viet Nam as they mobilise private financing through standardised, transparent and programmatic approaches,” said Jason Lu, head of the GIF.

According to the World Bank, while Viet Nam’s economic outlook remains robust, with a forecast of 6.5 per cent growth in 2020 and 2021, it faces many challenges in meeting its infrastructure needs, particularly in the energy sector that faces growing demand.

Viet Nam is actively seeking to attract private investment and use more public-private partnerships in the energy sector, but needs to adapt its current framework to enable competitive selection of independent power producers and minimise the cost of solar generation.

With the support of the World Bank and the GIF, the Government is developing competitive bidding schemes to deploy utility-scale solar power. — VNS

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