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Electricity generation in Vietnam, 1985–2020
Electricity generation in Vietnam, 1985–2020

Vietnam is a dynamic developing economy, with a relatively high growth rate. The energy sector plays a key role in promoting the country's socio-economic development. Vietnam has a diverse energy fuel resource of various types such as coal, natural gas, petroleum, hydropower and renewables such as solar and wind energy. The country has recently been successful in renewable energy deployment, especially solar and wind power development.[1] The high use of coal makes Vietnam an increasingly important emitter of carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.

Total primary energy supply (domestic, import) by type

Table 1: Progress of primary energy supply between 2000‑2015 in kilotonnes of oil equivalent (KTOE) [2]

2000 2005 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Coal 4,372 8,376 14,730 15,605 15,617 17,239 19,957 24,608
Oil 7,917 12,270 17,321 16,052 15,202 14,698 17,700 19,540
Gas 1,441 4,908 8,316 7,560 8,253 8,522 9,124 9,551
Hydro power 1,250 1,413 2,369 3,519 4,540 4,468 5,146 4,827
Non-commercial

energy

14,191 14,794 13,890 14,005 14,121 13,673 12,745 11,925
Electricity import 33 399 333 125 200 124 136
Total 29,171 41,794 57,025 57,075 57,857 58,801 64,797 70,588

Coal

Data of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), 10 months of 2018 coal production was estimated at 34.35 million tons, up 10% over the same period in 2017, of which clean coal output of Vinacomin (TKV) was 29.6 million tons, up 10.9% over the same period last year.[3] By the end of 2018, TKV's coal production reached 36.95 million tons. In 2019, TKV aimed to produce 40 million tons while consumption was up to 42 million tons, exceeding 2 million tons compared to production.[4]

On 2019-04-09, the amount of raw coal produced by this group reached over 10.7 million tons (of which 10.5 million tons were exported). To meet the above figure, TKV had to import another 1.2 million tons of coal to mix, while reducing its inventory to 6.2 million tons of coal.[5]

As of the year 2020, approximately 48.4 million metric tons of coal were produced in Vietnam. Since the 2019, there has been over a 38.4 million tons more of produced in the last year. Compared to the 34.35 million tons in 2018, they have increase immensely.

Table 2: Vietnam's coal import volume from 2014 to 2017 (tons): [6][7]

Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total volume of imported coal 3,095,801 6,935,667 13,276,869 14,488,002 22,857,153 43,770,107 54,811,643

The total volume of coal imported into Vietnam from 2014 to 2017 reached nearly 38 million tons and has an increasing trend.[6] In terms of markets, Australia, Indonesia and China are the three largest coal supply markets for Vietnam.[8] According to the statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the year of 2020, Vietnam imported 54,8 million tons of coal, worth US$3,7 billion.[9][10]

Table 3: Vietnam's coal balance in 2017 (million tons): [11]

Enterprise Estimate the beginning of the period Exploit Import Export Domestic Use Estimate the end of the period
Total 11,705 37,739 14,488 2,228 52,149 9,555
TKV 10,000 32,200 0,158 1,517 32,583 8,258
Dong Bac 0,500 5,100 0,513 0,021 6,000 0,092
Vietmindo 0,005 0,439 0 0,439 0 0,005
Formosa 0,300 0 4,006 0,173 3,833 0,300
Hoa Phat 0,100 0 1,177 0 1,177 0,100
EVN 0,500 0 3,217 0 3,217 0,500
Others 0,300 0 5,417 0,078 5,339 0,300

It is forecasted that in the future, domestic coal resources will not meet the demand for consumption in general, electricity production in particular and must be imported in huge quantities ... (2020: 86 million tons, 2025: 121 million tons and 2030: 156 million tons).[12] Mr. Sabyasachi Mishra, mineral sales manager at Tata International, predicts that Vietnam's annual coal imports will increase from 20 million tons to 30 million tons in the next one or several years, especially when domestic coal reserves are downward trend.[13]

Oil

According to the report of Petrovietnam (PVN), the total production of oil exploitation in 2017 reached 25.41 million tons, exceeding 1.60 million tons of oil equivalent compared to the Government plan assigned at the beginning of the year, but exploration increased reserves to only 4 million tons. In particular, oil exploitation reached 15.52 million tons, exceeding 1.32 million tons.[14]

In 2018, the oil production reached nearly 14 million tons (of which, the domestic oil production was about 11.3 million tons), down from the level of over 15.52 million tons in 2017.[15]

Figure 1: The amount of crude oil for export and import in the period of 2012–2018[16]
Figure 1: The amount of crude oil for export and import in the period of 2012–2018[16]

According to government statistics, in the period 2012–2017 crude oil exports were always more than imports, with an average export volume of 8.3 million tons/year, while imports averaged only about 750 thousand tons/year.

In 2018, the whole country exported 3.96 million tons of crude oil, down 41.8% from 2017 and less than half of the annual exports of crude oil in the period of 2012–2017. At the same time, imports reached 5.17 million tons, more than 4 times the figure of 1.18 million tons in 2017 and 7 times more than the annual import figure of the period 2012–2017.

In January and February 2019 the whole country imported more than 1.462 million tons of crude oil (worth US$635.4 million), an increase of more than 16 times in volume and 14 times in value from the same period in 2018.[16] The reason for the sharp increase is the oil demand for production by the Nghi Sơn Refinery.[17]

Oil production in many wells is declining naturally, due to exploitation for too long. In addition, the increase in reserves is so low that from 2018 to 2025, oil production will decrease steadily every year by 10% – equivalent to more than 2 million tons. Lack of capital is the main reason that PVN has not been able to boost oil and gas exploration activities in the past years to increase reserves. The increased output to compensate for the exploitation has reduced to a worrying level, affecting the sustainable development of Vietnam's oil and gas industry. Only a few years from 2018, the total oil and gas production will be only 1/3 of the current production.[18]

Natural gas

See also: List of gas power plants in Vietnam

According to the 2018 report of the MOIT, production of natural gas has increased gradually from 2011 to 2016, but has decreased slightly in 2017 when only reached 9.8 billion m3.[19]

First half of 2018, natural gas exploitation was estimated at 5.3 billion m3, up 1%; liquefied gas was estimated at 437.6 thousand tons, up 18.5% compared to the same period in 2017. Natural gas production was likely to not increase in 2018 when output by the end of 10 months of 2018 reaches 8.39 billion m3.[19] That shows the overall picture of the mining industry in general, the gas industry in particular is increasingly gaining development, basically meeting the requirements, there is no shortage of supply.[20]
However, after 2020, Vietnam's natural gas fields will decline and it is necessary to import tens of billions of cubic meters of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to supply power plants. Current gas fields are sufficient to meet 100% of domestic demand, but will begin to decline from 2022. Therefore, in the near future, Vietnam will have to import LPG to serve domestic demand, especially electricity production in gas power plants.[21]

Renewables

Vietnam exploits all four big sources of renewable energy: hydroelectricity, wind power, solar power and biomass. The potential for hydroelectricity is well developed. By the end of 2018, hydropower was the largest source of renewable energy, contributing about 40% to the total national electricity capacity.[22]

Excluding medium and large-sized hydropower plants, other renewable energy sources accounted for 2.1% of the total capacity of the whole system in mid-2019,[22] but that number is increasing fast. The lead-up to the expiration of the initial solar feed-in tariff (FIT) of US$93.5/MWh saw a large increase in Vietnam’s installed capacity of solar PV, from 86 MW in 2018 to about 4.5 GW by the end of June 2019.[23] The number reached about 16.5 GW as of the end of 2020.[24] This represents an annualized installation rate of about 90 W per capita per annum, placing Vietnam among world leaders. As of 2019, Vietnam has the highest installed capacity in Southeast Asia.[23] In 2020, there are 102 solar power plants operating in the country with a total capacity of 6.3 GW. [1] As of 2021, Vietnam has become one of the most successful ASEAN countries in attracting investment in renewable energy and promoting various types of renewables within the country.[25][26]

Wind and solar have a combined share of 10% of the country's electrical generation at the start of 2020, already meeting the government's 2030 goal, suggesting future displacement of growth of coal capacity.[27] The commercial biomass electricity generation is currently slow and limited to valorizing bagasse only. Still its prospects are positive because the stream of forest products, agricultural and municipal waste is increasing, and the government is studying a renewable portfolio standard that could promote this energy source. By the end of 2020, the total installed capacity of solar and wind power has reached over 17 GW.[24] This also means that over 25% of total power capacity is from variable renewable energy sources (wind, solar). By 2020, Vietnam leads ASEAN in solar and wind uptake, in terms of cummulative installed capacity, annual installation growth rate, and per capita installed capacity.[24]

Hydropower

Yaly Hydropower Dam
Yaly Hydropower Dam

According to theoretical calculations, the total hydropower capacity of the country is about 35,000 MW, of which 60% is concentrated in the North, 27% is distributed in the Central and 13% in the South. Technical potential (potentially feasible to exploit) is about 26,000 MW, equivalent to nearly 970 planned projects, can annually produce more than 100 billion kWh, of which small hydroelectricity comes in particular 800 projects, with a total power of about 15–20 billion kWh/year.[28]

In 2017, reports said that large hydropower power plants with capacity of over 100 MW were almost fully exploited. Plants with favorable locations and low investment costs have also been constructed. Remaining in the near future, small capacity hydropower projects will be invested for exploitation.

According to the assessment, Vietnam's small hydropower potential is about 4,000 MW, of which the source with a capacity of 100 kW-30 MW accounts for 93–95%, while the type of source with a capacity of under 100 kW only accounts for 5 – 7%, with total capacity over 200 MW.[28]

As of 2018, there were 818 hydropower project power plants in the whole country with total installed capacity of 23,182 MW. In which, 385 plants with the total installed capacity of 18,564 MW have been put into operation, 143 projects were being constructed with a total installed capacity of 1,848 MW and 290 investment projects with a total installed capacity of 2,770 MW. There are many dams and hydropower stations in Vietnam.[29]

Total final energy consumption (by sector, by type)

Table : Total Final Consumption (TFC) by source – Viet Nam (KTOE) [30]

Figure 2: Structure of final energy consumption in 2006 and 2015 per economic sector (million TOE,%)[2]
Figure 2: Structure of final energy consumption in 2006 and 2015 per economic sector (million TOE,%)[2]
Figure 3: Final energy consumption by type of fuel in the period 2006‑2015 (KTOE)[2]
Figure 3: Final energy consumption by type of fuel in the period 2006‑2015 (KTOE)[2]
Year Coal Oil products Natural gas Geothermal, solar, etc. Biofuels and waste Electricity Heat
1990 1330 2329 0 0 11868 532 0
1995 2609 4226 22 0 12152 963 0
2000 3223 6511 18 0 13413 1926 0
2005 5272 11333 537 0 13954 4051 0
2010 9814 16638 493 0 13824 7474 0
2015 11754 18014 1665 0 14583 12338 0
2018 14172 20750 985 0 8083 16284 0

In the sectoral structure in final energy consumption figure in 2006, residential and industrial sectors took the largest percentage part, respectively 41% and 32%. However, compared to 2015 data, the industrial sector had the highest share, correctively 43% and the residential section had a reduction to 27% of energy demand. The energy consumption percentage of the transportation sector change from only 20% in 2006 to 23% in 2015.  

For the final energy consumption classified by type of fuel, the amount of electricity consumed increases significantly from 2006 to 2015. Coal consumption, biomass, oil products remain the same from 2010 to 2013. At that time, the growth rate declined significantly, from 7.6% in 2007 to 1.3% in 2012, then gradually increased to 3.5% in 2015.

Energy intensity

In 2017 the energy intensity of Vietnam's economy (E/G) was 5.7 MJ per year-2010 US$, above the world average of 5.2.[31] That was also higher than other ASEAN countries, for example Thailand (5.3) and Indonesia (3.5). This reflects the high level of energy use associated with Vietnam's industrialization and its heavy reliance on coal.[31]

Energy efficiency in economic development is expressed through these indicators: Energy intensity, GDP, Final energy consumption, Power consumption, Power intensity, shown in Table:

Table : Energy efficiency in economic development:[32]

Category 2000 2005 2010 2015 2018
GDP (Billion USD by 2018 price) 44 67.85 122.4 204.8 241.4
Final energy consumption (MTOE) 25.0 35.7 48.0 54.0 63.0
Energy intensity (kgOE/1000 USD) 568 526 392 264 261
Power consumption (TWh) 22.4 45.6 85.5 151.5 192.9
Power intensity (kWh/1000 USD) 509 672 698.5 739.7 798.2

Through the data in Table 5, it can be seen that the energy intensity has decreased sharply from 568 kgOE in 2000 to less than half, about 260 kgOE in 2015 – 2018, while the power intensity still tends to gradually increasing over the past two decades, from more than 500 kWh (2000) to nearly 700 – 800 kWh (2015–2018).

Table 6: Energy intensity and power intensity of some countries:[32]

Indicator Thailand China Korea Japan Germany Vietnam
Energy intensity (kgOE/1000 USD) 199 231 238 154 164 264
Power intensity (kWh/1000 USD) 560 650 350 350 200 740

Emissions from energy sector

After joining the UNFCCC, Vietnam conducts greenhouse gas inventories through the development of the National Notice (NC) and the biennial update report for UNFCCC (BUR). To date, Vietnam has completed the construction of the first and second NCs, BUR1 (2014)[33] and BUR2 (2017).[34][35]

Vietnam's GHG emissions have been increasing quickly, with the main contributor being fossil fuel combustion which accounted for about 60% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2014.[31] In 2019 Vietnam was the world's 22nd largest CO2 emitter from fuel combustion and the 3rd largest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).[31]

In the energy sector in Vietnam, GHG is mainly emitted from fuel combustion and dispersal in the process of fuel extraction and transportation. The total amount of GHG emissions in the energy sector in 2013 was 151.4 million tons CO2e. In particular, fuel combustion activities are common in the electricity production, industry and construction, transportation, agriculture / forestry / fisheries and a number of other sectors. This is a major activity of GHG production, accounting for 86.1% of the total GHG emissions nationwide. In particular, with the consumption of large amounts of fuel, accounting for about 60% of total fuel consumption, transportation activities also emit a significant amount of GHG into the atmosphere. The transportation sector emits about 30 million tons of CO2e, the emissions increase rapidly over the years, more than doubling from 12.58 million tons of CO2e (in 2000) to 29.7 million tons of CO2e (in 2013). Meanwhile, road traffic emissions accounted for 90.9%, railway, waterway and airway traffic emissions accounted for nearly 10%, the civil aviation industry also had significant and increasing GHG emissions.[35]

According to research from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the process of using energy causes GHG emissions to account for the largest proportion, about 60% of global GHG emissions annually. Also, Vietnam's GHG emissions will increase 2.7 times and 4.6 times in 2020 and 2030 compared to 2010 emissions. One of the main measures to reduce GHG emissions in the industry energy is implementing energy saving and effective use.[36] Other measures include carbon pricing, which was legalized in the form of emission trading scheme in the Law on Environmental Protection 2020.[31]

Table 7: Trends of emissions/removals among inventory cycles [34]

Year

Sectors (Unit: ktCO2e)
Energy Industrial Processes Agriculture LULUCF Waste Total
1994 25,637.0 3,807.0 52,445.0 19,378.0 2,565.0 103,832.0
2000 52,774.0 10,006.0 65,091.0 15,105.0 7,925.0 150,901.0
2010 146,170.7 21,682.4 87,602.0 -20,720.7 17,887.0 252,621.5
2013 151,402.5 31,767.4 89,407.8 -34,239.8 20,686.2 259,024.1
Table 8: CO2 emission table in Vietnam (Unit: KT-C: kilotonnes of CO2)
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total CO2 Emission 23728 25340 28504 31140 34087 34951 34784 36273 39215 47352 51893 52625 63550
1.CO2 Emission by Energy 23728 25340 28504 31140 34087 34951 34784 36273 39215 47352 51893 52625 63550
1.1 Coal & Coal Products 10149 10868 13494 14177 16529 17510 17711 19344 22393 27911 31296 31830 42404
1.2 Crude Oil & Petroleum Products 10248 10851 10905 12414 12354 12598 11786 11470 11269 14142 15299 15791 16058
1.3 Gas 3330 3621 4105 4549 5204 4843 5287 5459 5553 5298 5298 5004 5087
2.CO2 Emission by Sector 23728 25340 28504 31140 34087 34951 34784 36273 39215 47352 51893 52625 63550
2.1 Transformation Sector 7491 8010 8448 8824 11332 11000 11328 12146 13698 20309 23380 23132 29789
2.1.1 Public Utilities 7491 6955 7448 8214 11332 11000 11328 12146 13698 20309 23380 23132 29789
2.1.2 Auto-Generation 0 930 888 610 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.1.3 Gas Processing 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.1.4 Own Use & Loss 0 125 112 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2.2 Final Energy Consumption Sector 16237 17329 20056 22316 22755 23951 23457 24127 25517 27042 28513 29493 33761
2.2.1 Industry Sector 7137 8726 10782 10654 11147 11717 11580 12179 14072 16319 16236 29493 18854
2.2.2 Transport Sector 6238 6659 7107 8460 8277 8888 8779 8622 8222 6561 7270 14251 10222
2.2.3 Residential & Commercial 2740 2714 2720 2750 2911 2897 2685 2929 2842 3645 4555 10557 10220
2.2.4 Other 121 −769 −554 452 420 448 412 397 381 516 452 4568 4310
Source:[37]

See also

References

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