Dec. 13 – General Electric International (GE) and the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) recently signed a contract to develop a wind grid code to increase renewable power sources in Vietnam.
Funded by a technical grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), a team from GE will conduct an assessment of the country’s current wind power capabilities and strategies for expansion. The firm looks to integrate up to 6,000 MW of new wind power, according to the USTDA.
“We are pleased to support this effort to help develop Vietnam’s abundant wind resources,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. “This contract demonstrates the practical benefits of collaboration between US industry and the governments of the US and Vietnam in achieving sustainable energy growth for Vietnam’s expanding economy.”
This project will form the basis for future renewable energy projects for US wind manufacturers in Vietnam. It is only one of many efforts in line with the 2012 US-Asia Comprehensive Energy Partnership (USACEP) to support greater US business engagement in the region’s renewable energy sector.
Vietnam has high potential for wind power development compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. It has a 3,000 kilometer coastline and an average wind speed of 7 m/s. However, some major obstacles to the industry’s growth arise from bureaucratic hurdles, lack of available data and inadequate transport infrastructure and equipment.
The country currently has only a handful of operating wind farms, including a 30MW project in Binh Thuan Province and a 16MW project in Bac Lieu. The Cong Hai wind power project entered its first phase in July 2013. It is expected to generate about 14 million kWh of electricity annually.
Energy has become a priority as Vietnam continues to suffer from power outages and blackouts amidst growing demand from its economy. While traditional energy sources will continue to play a major role in powering Vietnam’s growth, the government will also diversify into new energy alternatives through foreign investment projects and partnerships. Projects similar to the GE plan will be crucial for Vietnam as industries ranging from the manufacturing to services industry increase energy demand.
“As the world leader in renewable energy development, GE is pleased to support Vietnam’s pursuit of sustainable energy as a new way forward,” said John G. Rice, Vice Chairman of GE, who signed the contract along with Mr. Nguyen Huy Cuong, Director General of ERAV. Mr. Rice continued, “This agreement will lay the foundation for Vietnam to exploit its great potential in wind energy which in turn will contribute to the improvement of the country’s energy infrastructure.”
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