In the face of the rising demand for electricity and negative impacts on social life caused by hydropower plants, developing clean energy, mainly wind, biomass and solar energies, has been planned and facilitated by many investment attraction policies and conditions introduced by Dak Lak province.
Prospects of solar power
It is sunny all year round in Dak Lak province, particularly in the eastern part where there is huge potential for solar power development. Two solar power projects are being planned for deployment in the frontier district of Ea Sup, particularly a 300-500-MW solar power plant worth between US$600 million and US$1 billion invested by Solarpark Korea Co., Ltd and a 120-MW joint venture project, costing US$150 million, in Cu M’lan commune invested by Hanoi-based Long Thanh Infrastructure Investment and Development Joint Stock Company and South Korea-based Namu Company. Solarpark Korea Co., Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding on project deployment with local authorities. The investor also worked with the governing Provincial People’s Committee to survey the region, agreed on gridding with the 500-KV national power transmission line, prepared to install monitoring stations, and carrying out other processes and procedures. Pham Thai, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said that solar power projects will tap local potential, generate electricity and speed up the shift of energy industries from hydropower to renewable energy such as wind power and solar power.
Currently, the province established a list of 12 solar power projects and proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade add them into the Dak Lak power development plan in the 2016 - 2025 period. These projects are expected to use 8,500 ha of land and 565 ha of water surface in Buon Don and Ea Sup districts.
Open planning and mechanism
The Department of Industry and Trade said it is working and coordinating with relevant bodies to design, survey and assess wind power projects with expected capacity of 1,450 MW in Ea H'leo, Krong Buk, Krong Nang and Cu M'gar districts and Buon Ho Town. Currently, 120-MW Tay Nguyen wind power plant is being invested in the first phase with a capacity of 28 MW.
Regarding biomass electricity planning for the 2015-2025 period and to 2035, the Department of Industry and Trade coordinated with relevant bodies to inspect and count abundant biomass energy sourced from firewood, rice husk, bagasse, wood chip, sawdust and agricultural by-products to replicate closed energy production models. The province stepped up research and encouraged farmers and scientists to apply energy production models, called for investors to cooperate with enterprises to deploy cleaner industrial production models and supported power plants to expand supply facilities.
At a recent meeting with energy investors, Mr Nguyen Hai Ninh - Standing Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee, stressed that, to support investors, in addition to perfecting preferential policies, the province particularly focused on promptly providing land fund for investors, and called for support from ministries and branches to invest in synchronous infrastructure to carry out projects promptly. The province reviewed ineffective projects to revoke their licences to give opportunity to other investors with better capacity.
Regarding specific mechanisms for solar power projects, the Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade to formulate a decision on solar power development support mechanisms in Vietnam to submit to the law-making National Assembly for consideration and approval. Accordingly, solar power development investment procedures in Vietnam will be made transparent while investors are granted tax, investment and land incentives. At the same time, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and power distributors are responsible for purchasing all electricity from solar power projects for a period of 20 years.