WindMagics CEO Sheds Light on Challenges of Vietnam Offshore Wind Power Industry
WindMagics International CEO Cathryn Chu on Monday highlighted the challenges of Vietnam’s wind power industry while offering possible solutions to build a healthy industry.
Addressing a panel at Vietnam Wind Energy Summit 2019 at Hanoi—the country’s capital, Ms. Cathryn pointed out that factors like underdeveloped infrastructure, limited grid connection, lack of measured wind data, difficulty in land acquisition and lack of experienced technicians might impede the progression in Vietnam.
Ms. Cathryn was one of the five panelists in the discussion titled ‘exploring the wind energy potential in Vietnam–opportunities and challenges.
“For now, underdeveloped energy infrastructure and uncertain terms in Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) are the two significant obstructions.” Ms. Chu said. “Uncertain terms and conditions negatively affect prospective investors’ confidence in the project. These risk factors also make the projects unbankable for international commercial banks.”
Ms. Cathryn insisted on the improvement of electricity infrastructure in the country to attract investors. “Ensuring more transparency in the program would also attract investors and developers,” she said.
The CEO further added that regions like Ben Tre province are trying to attract investors to the intertidal wind farm. There, she wondered, Feed-in Tariff (FiT) at 9.8 cents would generate attractive returns. “The capital expenditure (CapEx) of intertidal wind farms cost less than offshore, but its operating expenses (OpEx) are equal to that of offshore,” she said.
Ms. Cathryn noted that equipment transportation, installation, and operation and management are the challenges for intertidal farms. She added that it is important to start with onshore wind projects and build competence prior to launching intertidal and offshore.
Vietnam’s Seventh Power Development Plan (PDP7) had projects a wind farm with a capacity of 800 MW by year 2020, and installations with a capacity of 6000 GW by 2030. The industry has the potential to produce energy up to 27 GW.