Vietnam anticipates an energy shortfall of up to 2,000MW between 2024 and 2025, as the soaring electricity demand outpaces additions to capacity.
An energy conference was convened in Hanoi on August 18, co-hosted by Vietnam’s Energy Efficiency Office – under the Ministry of Industry and Trade – and the National Electricity Regulatory Authority.
Speaking at the event, Tran Viet Nguyen, deputy head of Business Development at Vietnam Electricity (EVN) remarked, “During peak months, we’ve observed electrical loads spiking to staggering levels, at one point even reaching 900 million kWh with a peak capacity of over 43,000MW on 19 May.”
“The El Nino phenomenon has drastically reduced water levels for our hydroelectric plants. When coupled with our coal-fired thermal power plants facing operational challenges and fuel shortages, balancing the power supply and demand – especially in May and June – became particularly challenging,” added Nguyen.
With forecasts for 2024-2025 painting a picture of relentless growth in electricity demand, the deputy head emphasised, “We’re estimating a need for an additional 4,000-5,000MW. However, what’s concerning is that our anticipated capacity addition may not fully meet this demand, potentially leading to power shortfalls.”
Highlighting regional disparities, he added, “Regions in the north, which are already experiencing significant load growth, could be staring at a shortage of up to 2,000MW between 2024 and 2025.”
Given this impending scenario, EVN’s focus has shifted towards conservation.
“We are advocating for frugal and efficient power usage,” Nguyen said. “Our aim is to achieve a minimum power-saving target of 10 per cent across sectors and galvanise our industrial consumers to participate in our load-shifting programmes.”
Reporting on the recent successes, he said, “In just May and June, we managed to save about 220 million kWh each month, which is approximately 1 per cent of the total demand. If we factor in contributions from other consumer groups, I believe our cumulative energy conservation can potentially reach 2 per cent.”
Nguyen highlighted: “These savings mean we could forgo the need to invest in a 1,200MW coal-fired thermal power plant. As we move forward, our mission is clear. By 2025, we aim to slash energy losses across our power system to below 6 per cent and also implement robust demand management and load adjustment programmes.”
Outlining a vision for the future, he concluded, “By 2030, we desire a situation where half of our office buildings and households embrace rooftop solar power. This isn’t just about energy; it’s about building a sustainable future for Vietnam.”