LEGAL UPDATE - RENEWABLE ENERGY
28 June 2021
The energy market of Vietnam is still mostly State-dominated, with Electricity Vietnam (EVN) through its subsidiaries having a monopoly position over the transmission and distribution of electricity in Vietnam. Having said that the Vietnam Government also considers allowing the private sector to build the transmission infrastructure and then transfer the same to EVN for operation and a pilot program for direct power purchase agreements (DPPA) between power generation companies (GENCOs) and large-scale end consumers.
The Electricity Law of Vietnam requires national power development plans to be promulgated for ten year periods with a vision for 30 to 50 years. The national power development master plan (PDMP) VII for the period from 2011 to 2020 with a vision to the year 2030 was issued in 2011 and revised in 2016 expired pending the issuance of PDMP VIII for the period from 2021 to 2030 with a vision to the year 2045, which is currently still in draft form (Draft PDMP VIII).
Given that most large hydropower and coal-fired power plant projects have been developed and are contributing to environmental concerns and the relatively slow development of the LNG-to-power projects, renewable energy especially wind and solar power is generally seen as a viable alternative to meet Vietnam’s future power. According to the WWF – Vietnam and Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, 100 per cent of Vietnam’s power can be generated by renewable energy technologies by 2050.
Since early 2020, the Vietnam Government has enhanced the regulatory framework including clarifying the investment procedures, introducing more incentives and resolving some bankability issues for the development of renewable energy projects.
This Renewable Energy Legal Update (the Legal Update) aims to provide key updates on the regulatory framework for the development of wind and solar power projects in Vietnam.