Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIOT) recently introduced new ceiling prices for solar and wind projects that sell electricity to Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). The ceiling price for ground-mounted solar has been slashed from $0.0709/kWh to $0.0502/kWh, threatening the financial viability of large-scale solar projects.
Trina Solar said it will start operating a new 6.5 GW solar wafer factory in Vietnam from mid-2023 to exclusively supply the utility, commercial and industrial (C&I) segments in the United States, as well as the US residential solar market.
Following a disappointing COP27 climate change summit in November, solar industry veteran Philip Wolfe reviews the contribution utility-scale PV is starting to make to emissions reduction.
While near neighbors, the electricity generation of the countries of Southeast Asia couldn’t be further apart. Indonesia burns locally mined coal; Malaysia has reserves of oil and gas; and populous Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines depend on fossil fuel imports. They could all benefit from increased solar electricity but higher grid capacities and interconnection are key for an opportunity to unlock the power of the sun.
The Vietnamese government has been working on a scheme to allow bilateral power purchase agreements (PPAs) since 2020. The start of the pilot scheme has been delayed and is now expected for the first quarter of 2023. The official program would launch in 2025.
The average global price of solar kilowatt-hours fell 13% on 2020’s prices, as around two-thirds of the renewables capacity installed last year was cheaper than the lowest-cost fossil fuel alternative.
The Vietnamese government is reportedly concerned about legal action from solar investors if its new power development plan does not prove ambitious enough.
The 600 kW array was built by Sungrow with 540 W solar panels and its own floating structures.
Advances in solar power and other clean energy technologies have failed to keep up with demand for electricity as economies rebound from the Covid crisis and China and India’s fossil fuel appetite will ensure the world stays well short of what is needed for a net zero 2050 for at least the next three years.
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