Renewable energy may power Vietnam by 2050

Vietnam’s power needs could be fully met by renewable energy by 2050, according to a new report by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Vietnam and Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance. 

The “Sustainable Scenario for the Vietnamese power sector until 2050” report offers an overview of the country’s power sector within the global energy framework and suggests various scenarios from which the country could choose its energy sector development strategy. 

There are numerous renewable energy sources available in Vietnam like solar, wind, water, geothermal, bio-mass and ocean waves, but the country’s 2010 - 2020 power sector strategy is based on often unsustainable hydropower plants, highly polluting fossil fuel-based projects, and even costly and risky nuclear power, it said. 

“Vietnam has an opportunity to become a leader in clean, renewable electricity,” Pham Cam Nhung, WWF-Vietnam’s sustainable energy project manager, said. 

“Solar power can provide at least 35% of Vietnam’s electricity needs while wind power can account for at least 13%. 

“Renewable energy plays a vital role in a sustainable future for the country where people can live in harmony with nature.” 

The report offers three options: Business As Usual, Sustainable Energy Scenario and Advanced Sustainable Energy Scenario. 

Business As Usual shows what will happen if Vietnam continues to rely on fossil fuels and outdated, inefficient technologies, including a rise in carbon dioxide emissions. 

The two sustainable energy scenarios demonstrate it is technically and economically feasible by 2050 to supply everyone with the electricity they need with 81-100% coming from renewable sources and carbon dioxide emissions reduced by over 80%. 

Carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal and other fossil fuels are the leading cause of climate change. 

Nguy Thi Khanh, director of GreenID and a representative of the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, said, “The mentioned scenarios match with our recent study on alternative choices for our power system to reduce the dependence on imported coal in the near future."

Also according to the report, renewable energy and energy efficiency could help Vietnam significantly reduce its dependence on fossil fuel and coal imports, ensure stable electricity prices for decades to come, increase job creation, strengthen co-operation in the region, and reduce environmental and social impacts.

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