USAID launches $36 mn clean energy project in Vietnam

Construction News Vietnam
US Ambassador Marc Knapper. Pic: USAID

USAID launches $36 mn clean energy project in Vietnam

US ambassador Marc Knapper recently joined Vietnam’s vice minister of industry and trade Dang Hoang An and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director Ann Marie Yastishock to launch USAID’s $36 million, flagship clean energy project. US vice president Kamala Harris had announced the project during her visit to Vietnam in August 2021.

The project, called the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (V-LEEP II), builds on the success of V-LEEP I, which ran from 2015 to 2020. Under V-LEEP I, USAID worked with the ministry of industry and trade (MOIT) on the development of its Eighth National Power Development Plan and the design of the Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) pilot programme. The DPPA will allow businesses in Vietnam to purchase electricity directly from private firms producing renewable energy, instead of through local power utilities. V-LEEP I also worked with the private sector to mobilise more than $311 million to build 300 megawatts of wind and solar projects, USAID said in a media release.

V-LEEP II will continue its work with MOIT to increase clean energy deployment, through mobilisation of private sector investment, project design support for developers, and technical assistance for lenders. The new project aims to support 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy commissioned between 2020 and 2025 through private sector engagement. Through the project, USAID and the government of Vietnam will also continue collaboration to improve energy planning and operations practices to enhance energy sector performance.

“The US government is proud to be a partner to Vietnam in its clean energy transition journey,” said ambassador Knapper. “We applaud your commitment at COP-26 to transition to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, with international support. This USAID V-LEEP II programme will be a cornerstone of US support to Vietnam in achieving your climate change commitments.”

“Through V-LEEP II, USAID will continue to support Vietnam’s transition to a clean, secure and market-based energy sector,” said USAID mission director Yastishock. “Not only will renewable energy help Vietnam meet soaring energy demand in a sustainable way, but it will also increase its energy security while advancing its COP-26 commitments.”

Through V-LEEP I and continuing with V-LEEP II, USAID supports the government of Vietnam in designing and implementing a strategic plan to guide Vietnam on energy generation and transmission to meet energy needs as the country moves away from a coal-based power system to a greener, cleaner system based on renewable energy and natural gas.