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Authorities said Tuesday that Vietnam had reduced the utilisation rate for its largest solar farm by 40% because there was no pricing mechanism. This could have a negative impact on the country’s efforts to increase renewable energy.
According to a government news release, the power trading unit of the state-owned utility EVN has reduced the utilisation rate from 450 MW to 278 MW at Trung Nam – Thuan Nam solar power station in Ninh Thuan.
Vietnam pledged last year to be carbon-neutral by 2050. It is now seeking to increase its power generation capacity using renewable energy.
Nguyen Anh Tai, deputy chief executive of EVN, stated in the government’s press release that “we cannot utilise the part of installed capacity for the feed-in tariff which hasn’t been approved”
The current pricing system, which is 9.35 U.S. Cents per kWh, applies only to the first 2,000 MW capacity of the solar project in the province.
Trung Nam had written a separate request to the ministry of trade and EVN for the full utilisation of solar farms.
Nguyen Thanh Son, a Hanoi-based energy analyst, stated that Vietnam’s renewable energy developers often face concerns about local regulations as well as their relationship to EVN.
“The government must separate the power transmission operations and EVN, and market the electricity sector quickly.”
John Kerry, the U.S. ambassador to the climate was quoted as saying last week in Hanoi by John Kerry that Vietnam’s use rate of renewable energy sources is too low.