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As a tropical country, Vietnam has a great potential for solar energy, especially rooftop solar power, which is often dispersed and mostly consumed at the point of generation. The Government has encouraged the use of rooftop solar because its strategic deployment can contribute to reducing the load on the grid and impact land-use planning.
By the end of September 2021, more than 100,000 rooftop solar systems were installed and operated with a total capacity of nearly 10 GW which accounts for more than 10% of the total installed capacity of Vietnam’s power system, according to Vietnam Electricity (EVN) reports. Recently, more investors have focused on rooftop solar development due to the flexibility in installation timeframes and investment capital options. Solar self-consumption in industry and trade has also become increasingly interesting from a business perspective since power prices in Viet Nam rose by an average of 8% in March 2019.
In this context, the German Development Cooperation Agency GIZ and the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority (EREA) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade have started to implement a rooftop solar project in the commercial and industrial sectors. The rooftop solar (CIRTS) project will focus on the adaptation of relevant regulatory and technical regulations, the development of key stakeholder capacities and technology cooperation, with an aim to improve conditions for sustainable development of the market in Vietnam.
The CIRTS project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Both EREA and GIZ are jointly carrying out the project until February 2025.
At an event on 13 April in Ho Chi Minh City to introduce the project, Nathan Moore – Director of the rooftop solar project – said, ‘Rooftop solar will play a key role for achieving Vietnam’s COP26 commitments. The rooftop solar project is ready to assist EREA and EVN with technical, commercial, and regulatory issues that naturally arise when rooftop solar is rapidly expanded. By joining hands with other development partners and stakeholders, we continue providing technical assistance to support sustainable development and the energy transition in Vietnam.’
Specifically, the rooftop solar project will provide a gap analysis for technical rules and standards for the grid integration of rooftop solar, based upon which, recommendations are made to adapt international best practices to the Vietnamese context. In addition, the project will facilitate a technical working group to clarify the need for further updates of rules, standards, and regulations.
In term of capacity development, CIRTS will strengthen the operational capacity of the Vietnam Electricity (EVN) for technical and administrative adaptation of power supply activities to expand rooftop solar in the commercial and industrial sectors. At the same time, improvement will be made on the access to knowledge for relevant stakeholders for the implementation of quality and safety aspects of commercial and industrial rooftop solar.
In terms of technology cooperation, the project will work with EVN to identify potential commercial and industrial rooftop solar and develop scenarios to optimize the resources.
With all the action areas, CIRTS project expects to support the implementation and achievement of Vietnam’s energy-related strategic goals. Consumers and the environment shall benefit from the economical, ecological and socially suitable provision and use of renewable energy in Vietnam. In parallel, the capacities of state and non-state stakeholders in the energy sector will be strengthened so that they can implement the goals outlined in the Green Growth Strategy and the revised National Power Development Plan VII.