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Vietnam Energy Forum

Update the potential of energy resources and the ability to exploit these réources in Vietnam

 - At present, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is directing to establish Energy Development Planning (EDP) in Vietnam for period 2021 – 2030 with a vision up to 2045.


During EDP project implementation, the consulting units studied, checked, review and preliminarily calculated the potential of energy resources and their exploitation ability in Vietnam. The study and calculate results show that fossil fuels as coal, petroleum and large hydropower sources in Vietnam will soon reach “ceiling” exploitation ability. In fact, our energy sector, at present already depends on import coal and will depend on LNG soon. However, the renewable energy resources, especially wind and solar power sources are very abundant.

The concrete data on potential of energy resources in Vietnam updated in November 2020 are as follows:

1/ Hydropower resources: the technical - economical potential of middle and large projects is defined around 20 GW, small projects – about 6 – 7 GW. There are developed so far in our country 19.7 GW middle and large projects, 1.8 GW small projects, and in 2021-2025 expected to develop 1.8 GW middle and large projects (including expansion of existing plants), and about 2.5 GW small projects.

2/Gas resources:  the gas relatively reliable reserve in the country is about 432 billion cubic meters. It has been exploited so far about 150 billion cubic meters (bcm). The gas volume would be provided for power generation by base case as 7.7 bcm in 2020; 14.6 cm (mainly from Blue Whale field and lot B) in 2025; 9.2 bcm in 2030 and 7.7 bcm/year in 2035 – 2045 period. For the Ken Bau field the reserve of 200 – 250 bcm was discovered but it is not yet reliable.

Regarding LNG market, Vietnam can import LNG from Australia, Qatar, Russia, USA and Middle East countries, the largest nations producing LNG in the world.

3/ Coal resources: the total coal reserve in Vietnam is about 2.2 billion tons, mainly in Northeast basin, which can be exploited in about 40 years with the current exploitation level.

According to calculated data, mining commercial coal will reach about 53 - 54.8 million tons in the period 2030 – 2035 to supply not only for power generation but also for other industries as cement, chemistry, steel… productions. Thus, the domestic coal with an amount of 35 – 40 million tons would be enough only for the existing thermal power plants (TPPs) with a total capacity of 14,000 MW and all the newly developed TPPs must use mix coal or import coal with increasing amount. In 2019 Vietnam imported coal with amount of 43.8 million tons, among which about 17 million tons for power generation. The markets of importing coal for power generation in our country must be only Indonesia, Australia, South America and Russia

4 / "Non-hydro" renewable energy resources:

Wind power: The total technical potential of the wind power is about 377 GW, among which onshore 217 GW and offshore  160 GW.

Solar power: the total technical potential of solar power is 434 GW including 309 GW of large projects on the ground, 77 GW of floating projects and 48 GW of rooftop projects

5/ Other renewable energy resources:

- Biomass power: The technical-economical potential of biomass power is about 5 GW from the total converted theoretical potential of about 13.7 GW.

- Waste –to - power: Total potential of 1.5 GW, concentrated in the South (about 1 GW). At present, there 3 projects with  a total capacity of 10 MW are operating.

- Geothermal power: The technical potential is about 0.7 GW, mostly in the North (0.4 GW).

- Tidal power: Technical potential is about 2 GW, mostly in the Central region (1.6 GW). At present, this power source is on stage for the development research.

- Biogas power: Technical potential is about 2 GW. The projects will be on the farm scale with a quite small capacity, so it is difficult to develop the large biogas-power projects in Vietnam in the coming period.



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