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June 21 | Producing electricity from solar energy in Vietnam


The Quang Minh solar project installs and operates a solar farm in a rural part of Southern Vietnam, harnessing the country’s strong sun to generate renewable energy.

The estimated power output for this plant is 50MW, producing annual emissions reductions of just over 60,000 tonnes of CO2. Projects like this one produce emissions reductions by replacing electricity in the grid which would otherwise have been generated by fossil fuels like oil and coal.

This project provides around 36,000 local people with access to clean energy each year, and also provides well-paid employment opportunities for local people – around 2.5x higher than the local average salary.

Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia, with a population of around 90 million people and an economy largely based on agriculture, fishing and the mining of antimony, bauxite and tin.

Most of the energy generated in Vietnam (about 65% in 2015) is produced from coal and oil, but the country has a great potential to develop its solar power capabilities, due to the many sunshine hours and high solar radiation intensity, especially in the Southern part of the country.

Whilst the proportion of the country’s electricity which is currently being generated by solar plants (currently around 1%) is very small, it is growing very rapidly alongside other renewables such as wind and hydroelectric power, thanks to Vietnam’s success in attracting investment in the country’s renewable energy capabilities.

Utility-scale solar photovoltaics

The sun provides a virtually unlimited, clean, and free fuel at a price that never changes. Solar farms take advantage of that resource, with large-scale arrays of hundreds, thousands, or in some cases millions of photovoltaic (PV) panels. They operate at a utility scale like conventional power plants in the amount of electricity they produce, but dramatically differ in their emissions. In many parts of the world, solar PV is now cost competitive with or less costly than conventional power generation. In tandem with other renewables and enabled by better grids and energy storage, solar farms are ushering in the clean energy revolution. The significant increase of the solution use could avoid 44-119 gigatons of greenhouse gases emissions depending on the climate mitigation ambition and electrification of demand side sectors.

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