Vietnam plans to boost rooftop solar with surplus power wholesale mechanism


(Photo: EVN)

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) held a meeting to discuss “The draft of rooftop solar power stimulus package” on Apr. 10. During the meeting, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien revealed that rooftop solar power systems can be connected to the grid in the future, and surplus electricity can be sold to power companies by individuals or businesses for financial gain. 

Dien stated that the scale of rooftop solar capacity is not limited by the provisions of the National Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8), and the government also intends to provide lower rate for investment in energy storage equipment.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha also emphasized the priority of the development of rooftop solar, offshore wind power, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, and energy projects for direct export, green hydrogen production, and self-consumption, as long as they meet technical, system security, and reasonable pricing conditions. Among these, rooftop solar is considered more economical and matches with national land use planning.

Tran Hong Ha urged MOIT to establish operational mechanisms, including mechanisms for self-consumption and sale, and to formulate relevant incentive measures.

  • Simplify procedures with necessary documents for rooftop solar power used solely for self-consumption in office buildings, residential homes, etc., 
  • Provide reasonable pricing, loan rates, and tax incentives for rooftop solar power systems equipped with energy storage systems in businesses.

Do Van Nam, a Member of Board of the Northern Power Corporation under Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), stated that there should be policies encouraging enterprises in industrial parks to install energy storage systems to convert surplus electricity into clean fundamental power. This surplus electricity can then be transmitted to the national grid at appropriate prices in the evening.

Energy expert Dao Nhat Dinh emphasized that investors looking to sell surplus rooftop solar energy should install energy storage systems. The surplus electricity would be stored during the daytime and released or transmitted to the national grid for sale in the evening. The energy storage system investment cost is 2-3 times higher than that of solar panels system, hence the government would offer incentives.

In the prior version of last year, EVN has the option to purchase surplus electricity at "zero cost" to maintain the stable operation of rooftop solar energy for enterprises, organizations, and individuals. After the regulatory direction is revised, it is expected to increase the willingness of some investors.

MOIT stated that if the government approves, they will draft up legislation and gather feedback from May to July (for at least 60 days). The draft is expected to undergo revisions by MOIT in August and completed in October, and it will then be submitted to the government for approval. The decree is expected to take effect in December when it is all goes well.

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