Tuesday , July 16 2024

Climate neutrality is most cost-effective scenario for Việt Nam’s green energy transition

The most beneficial and cost-effective way to support Việt Nam’s sustainable growth is through a massive expansion of solar and wind power, as well as the electrification of transportation and industry.


The ‘Việt Nam Energy Outlook Report – Pathways to Net Zero’ was released on Wednesday in Hà Nội. VNS Photo Khánh Dương

HÀ NỘI Reaching the 2050 climate neutrality target is not only technically feasible for Việt Nam, but is also the most cost-effective scenario, according to a new report released on Wednesday and titled ‘Việt Nam Energy Outlook Report – Pathways to Net Zero’.

The result of cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Danish Embassy in Việt Nam and the Danish Energy Agency, the report presents scenarios for developing the Vietnamese energy system over the next few decades.

It focuses on analysing realistic pathways for Việt Nam to achieve its net-zero commitment by 2050.

Nguyễn Tuyển Tâm, Head of the Planning Division under the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority, said Việt Nam’s energy sector is the main source of air pollution today. In 2020, the total greenhouse gas emissions in Việt Nam amounted to 370.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, of which the energy sector accounted for 67 per cent of total emissions (247 million tonnes).

He said with expected economic growth of about 7 per cent annually, Việt Nam’s energy/electricity demand for socio-economic development will remain high.

“Electricity demand is forecast to increase by about 8-9 per cent in the next decade, so ensuring adequate and timely development of energy system infrastructure is a top challenge,” he said.

The energy sector remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with 648.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2030, he said.

The ‘Việt Nam Energy Outlook Report – Pathways to Net Zero’ pointed out that an additional 56GW of renewable energy — including 17GW of onshore wind and 39 GW of solar — needs to be added by 2030 if Việt Nam is to stay on track for a carbon peak by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

The most beneficial and cost-effective way to support Việt Nam’s sustainable growth is through a massive expansion of solar and wind power as well as the electrification of transportation and industry, the report said.

It is critical to accelerate the green energy transition in Việt Nam now to avoid huge unnecessary costs. Any delays in the transition will be costly, not least from increased climate change impacts.

Kristoffer Bottzauw, Director General of Danish Energy Agency, said the report highlights the urgent need to change from coal towards sustainable development within decades.

Coal power capacity will peak at 28GW before 2030, with the electricity system increasingly dominated by an increasing renewable energy capacity. Coal power will be eventually phased out by 2050 in all scenarios, he said.

The phaseout of coal in the net zero scenarios, reaching a peak capacity even before 2030, underlines the fact that any new coal power plant commissioned now will be a net economic loss to Việt Nam when pursuing the net zero target by 2050, he said.

It is cost effective to start the green transition now, he added, reiterating that the Vietnamese energy sector will reach peak emissions by 2030.

To fulfil Việt Nam’s ambition to build 84GW of offshore wind by 2050 requires strong commitment and immediate action. The report recommends Việt Nam start designating offshore areas, preparing port infrastructure and strengthening the power grid.

Denmark’s Ambassador to Việt Nam Nicolai Prytz said: “Achieving Việt Nam’s net zero goal will require swift, intensified and sustained efforts. This is not just vital in terms of addressing a growing energy demand, but also for the attraction of FDI as access to renewable energy is becoming more and more crucial in investment decisions. Denmark is committed to continue supporting Việt Nam on this journey.”

The ‘Việt Nam Energy Report – Pathways to Net Zero’ is the fourth in a series of outlook publications under the Danish-Vietnamese Energy Partnership Programme, a long-term partnership between the two countries on the green energy transition. VNS

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