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Vietnam’s $25B energy saving and 31Mt CO2 reduction opportunity

$25B in potential savings over the next 25 years and 31Mt+ in CO2 reduction annually, is what Vietnam could achieve if it maximizes the efficiency of existing and new power generation assets in the years ahead.

This was one of the standout findings of the inaugural Powering Vietnam conference held in Hanoi on April 27. The GE-organized conference attracted more than 350 of the country’s energy sector leaders to discuss, and analyse strategies, solutions, and next steps to help Vietnam produce more affordable, reliable and sustainable power.

The event was timely because Vietnam is poised to ramp up power generation in the next 15-20 years said Mr. Phuong Hoang Kim, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade Vietnam, in his opening remarks.

“Over the last decade, demand for energy has grown at 12.1 percent annually – tripling in 10 years. To meet demand, and the challenges to produce more energy from today to 2030, we have revised the Vietnam Master Plan VII to boost energy security, diversify our energy mix, attract new investment, and ensure environmental benchmarks are met.

“We understand that meeting these objectives requires support, input, and expertise from many stakeholders, and today’s Powering Vietnam event – which brings together experts from the public and private sector – is a great way to address the opportunities and challenges ahead.”


Vietnam wants power, and its households, manufacturers, farmers, and others, want it now

To support Vietnam’s economic and infrastructure growth plans, demand for electricity is predicted to grow at an average of 10.5 percent annually between 2016–2020, and 8.0 percent annually between 2021–2030. Capacity wise, electricity consumption is projected to reach 234.6 TWh in 2020 and 506.0 TWh by 2030 – a fourfold increase by 2030 compared with consumption in 2014.


Vietnam’s $25B opportunity

In terms of opportunities, $25B in potential savings over the next 25 years is what Vietnam could achieve if it optimizes the efficiencies of its energy ecosystem with latest technologies, and digital solutions in the near and medium term. Sustainability-wise, the same energy efficiencies could also help Vietnam reduce CO2 by 31Mt+ annually – 48% of the country’s COP21 target.

These transformational numbers were highlighted by Anders Maltesen, General Manager, GE Power Services, Asia Pacific during his presentation.

As Vietnam wants to gradually reduce its reliance on hydro and coal-fired power generation, there is also great potential for clean energy alternatives such as solar and wind. Commenting on this, Mr. Pham Trong Thuc, Director General of Renewable Energy Department, General Department of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade said, “While the renewable opportunity is tipped to offer a potential 5.5 GW of power, development is slow today because of the high level of investment required.”

In the interim, Mr. Tran Hong Ky, Senior Energy Expert, World Bank suggested that rather building new power plants only, investment dollars should also be directed into plant upgrades to enhance the efficiency, stability, and sustainability of current power producing assets.

And for potential investors, Mr. Fred Burke, Managing Partner of the Baker & McKenzie legal firm outlined unique features of Vietnam’s energy sector and some of the main investment incentives.


Global debut of GE’s Energy Ecosystem

Innovative technologies and solutions to help Vietnam achieve its near-term targets were also detailed by Mr. Maltesen when he introduced GE’s Energy Ecosystem, an interconnected system of digital and industrial technologies covering GE’s full range of energy solutions from power generation, to digital solutions, storage technology, and financing.

Powering Vietnam in fact, marked the global debut of the Energy Ecosystem portfolio said Wouter Van Wersch. President and CEO, GE ASEAN.

“We chose to launch the Energy Ecosystem in Vietnam because it is one of the most energy-hungry nations in the world and open to new ideas, and solutions. Some of the most innovative programs available today are showcased in the ‘ecosystem’ – many have been developed with customers across the entire energy landscape. This is a strength that GE has developed globally and we look forward to helping more customers in Vietnam, and other markets, to achieve their energy goals in the future.”

Breakout sessions offer in-depth discussion opportunities for customers

Conference attendees were especially eager to learn more about the latest power generation, transmission, and storage solutions available today. They had the chance to find out more in the “Maximize Efficiency, Liability & Control Emissions,” “Smarter & Cleaner Coal Solutions,” “Hydro Solutions – small hydro, retrofits, services and digital,” “Grid Modernization,” and “Building Successful Strategies, Tools & Processes in Corporate Governance, Ethics & Compliance” breakout sessions hosted by GE executives.

The conference ended with a summary of some of the key trends, and influencing factors expected to shape Vietnam’s sustainable energy future – these will be highlighted in a follow-up article which will be published next week.

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