Offshore wind power development – Prioritize development to promote industry

Offshore wind power will contribute to ensuring energy security, help Vietnam implement carbon neutral plan and promote the development of supporting ancillary industries.

In the context that other raw materials for production of the energy industry are gradually exhausted and becoming more expensive, resources from renewable energy will continue to be prioritized for development because of the large potential for exploitation in Vietnam. In which, there is energy from wind power, which has just been exploited at a modest rate.

Wind power plays an important role in reducing maximum greenhouse gas emissions

According to research by the World Bank, Vietnam is a country with great development opportunities in wind power, which can reach over 500 GW, of which 42 GW on land and 475 GW in offshore wind power in seas up to 200 km from shore.

In terms of benefits, wind power has the lowest carbon emissions compared to other power sources such as coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydropower, and solar power. Specifically, onshore wind power is only 9 g/kWh, offshore wind power is 16 g/kWh, while coal power is 1050 g/kWh, nearly 116 times higher than wind power. In addition to the economic benefits, the wind power sector also contributes to creating jobs for workers, promoting the development of supporting ancillary industries and especially wind energy also plays an important role in reducing maximum greenhouse gas emissions.

Currently, as of October 30, 2021, there have been a total of 84 projects in commercial operation on time, all or part of them, with a total installed capacity of wind power nationwide of approximately 4GW. Since then, while waiting for the Ministry of Industry and Trade to issue the bidding price mechanism, registered wind power projects have continued to be completed and new projects have been continuously proposed. Wind power projects that come into operation have helped reduce millions of tons of carbon emissions.

According to the report “Offshore wind power development roadmap for Vietnam” published by the World Bank in 2021, Vietnam can become a country with an offshore wind power industry with the highest scenario up to 70 GW to 2050 successfully with low electricity production cost, reduce billions of tons of carbon, localization up to 70%, electricity capacity can reach 35% in Vietnam’s electricity system.

According to the Danish Energy Agency, Vietnam has a fully viable potential of 162 GW; of which 132 GW of offshore wind power in the area of seabed depth below 50 m and 30 GW use floating foundation technology.

Therefore, these organizations recommend that Vietnam increase the installed capacity of offshore wind power to 10 GW by 2030 to suit the conditions and large enough scale to attract investors to develop offshore wind power projects.

According to the Project “National electricity development planning period 2021-2030, vision to 2045 (Power planning VIII), April 2022 version, the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed to add 16GW of wind power capacity onshore and nearshore, 7GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and will reach 122GW of total wind power capacity by 2045, of which, offshore wind will reach 66GW.

Offshore wind power projects need 7-10 years to complete the stages of survey, evaluation, installation

Particularly for offshore wind power, according to experts, from now to 2030 there are only 7 years left, so to achieve those goals, it is necessary to promptly have marine spatial planning and environmental legal framework to that the registered projects can be completed on time. Because an offshore wind power project needs 7-10 years to complete the stages of survey, environmental impact assessment, wind measurement, geological research, wind farm design, components production, construction and installation.

Regarding financial implementation, according to experts, Vietnam is in need of an investment capital of about 128 billion USD by 2030 in power source and power grid. The development of offshore wind power projects is also a major source of foreign investment attraction for the Vietnamese economy in general and the power-industrial sector in particular.

Assessing the cost of implementation, Dr. Du Van Toan, Institute of Sea and Island Studies under the General Department of Seas and Islands of Vietnam (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) said; Offshore wind measurement costs a huge financial amount, about 2 million USD. That is not including the cost for other administrative procedures and surveys, if calculated in total to complete a wind power project, the cost can be up to 15 million USD.

To promote the development of wind power as a new industry, Mr. Toan proposed, the State agencies in charge of marine and energy shall soon approve the overall and long-term development planning, creating favorable conditions for the development of offshore wind power market as well as related activities such as the maritime industry, security and defense, marine protected areas, fishing grounds, and other marine economic sectors.

Areas and localities that prioritize offshore wind power development also need to soon announce their planning to have an investment orientation in survey, feasibility study, and environmental impact report. The community of wind power businesses and investors, if able to cooperate and establish common rules on information sharing, will also help reduce time and financial resources for the survey period. Because when participating in bidding, any bidding document needs to have full technical measurement data.

If give a stable and attractive legal policy framework, with a minimum vision of the next 10 years, developers will be able to build offshore wind farms that provide electricity at low cost and zero carbon emissions, contributing to the development of other industries.

“These regulatory and policy frameworks have created robust, transparent and timely processes for seabed leasing and project licensing. At the same time, developers also consider what investments are needed in the power grid and other infrastructure to get a long-term potential project portfolio. Thereby, offshore wind power can attract competitive capital by providing a stable and attractive roadmap for the amount of electricity that projects produce” – Experts recommend.