Development of renewable energy resources in Vietnam

Vietnam, a Southeast Asian country of more than 98 million inhabitants, has made exceptional economic progress in recent years. The country has significantly shifted to a market economy and transformed the country into one of the most dynamic emerging countries in the Southeast Asia region. Along with increasing industrialization and economic modernization, the demand for electric power is increasing.

The public electricity company, Vietnam Electricity (EVN), saw its electricity consumption increase from 128.6 TWh in 2014 to 209.4 TWh in 2019, a growth rate greater than the increase in gross domestic product ( GDP). Electric power demand and consumption is expected to increase continuously by more than eight percent per year between 2021-2030.

The Vietnamese government is proactively addressing this rapid pace of energy demand. With the recent draft of the Eighth Electricity Development Plan (PDP VIII), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) produced the roadmap for the development of the electricity sector until 2045. From the first publication, the plan highlights the commitment to reduce coal-fired power plants. power generation and continuously develop renewable resources in Vietnam, ambitiously raising the target to nearly 70% of renewable energy production capacity by 2030, from 27 GW to 45 GW. In addition, another important element is the need for improvements in the transmission and power system to facilitate and support the considerable increase in intermittent production from renewable energy resources.

Vietnam’s existing production resource

The country’s electricity market is currently considered one of the most efficient in the region, using coal, hydropower and natural gas as the main sources of energy. For the power-hungry Vietnam, coal is currently cheaper, more reliable and more familiar than renewables. The installed forms of production capacity in 2020 are 53% coal, 26% hydropower, 16% natural gas and 5% non-hydropower renewables.

However, due to growing environmental concerns, reduced investment in coal, and net zero emissions, PDP VIII represents a new strategy supporting the Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) in 2015, focusing on l expansion of renewable energy sources in the electricity mix.

Solar energy resources

The government has already started investing and making rapid progress with the development of solar energy. In 2014, installed solar and wind resources only represented 1% of the country’s total installed production capacity, but at the end of 2019, renewable energies represented 5,700 MW of installed capacity, or around 10% of total installed capacity, a significant achievement. in five years.

In 2019, Vietnam overtook Malaysia and Thailand in terms of installed solar energy resources by recording the highest installed capacity of solar panels in Southeast Asia with 5 GW of PV projects, far exceeding the target. by 1 GW by 2020. There are now more than 101,000 rooftop solar systems installed in residential, commercial and industrial premises across the country.

Wind energy resources

Simultaneously, the wind power industry in Vietnam is also growing at an exponential rate. Benefiting from a long coastline and exceptional wind resources, Vietnam is ideally placed to harness and maximize the potential of this wind resource, so it should be one of the future leaders in onshore and offshore wind energy. The government has indicated its intention to substantially develop offshore and onshore wind power from 600 MW in 2020 to some 12 GW in 2025 and more than 18 GW in 2030.

This shift in focus inevitably poses certain challenges, especially with regard to the significant capital requirements and the country’s current infrastructure for the availability of interconnection. In a draft report, the Interior Ministry predicts that Vietnam will need around $ 128.3 billion in investment to develop its electricity industry during the period 2021-2030, of which $ 95.4 billion dollars will be for the production / source / power plants and about 32.9 billion will be for the transmission network. Digitization of the transport network.

The transmission system is a crucial piece of the country’s critical infrastructure that must be secured and these infrastructure assets must function reliably for decades to help fundamentally change the electricity sector. The transmission system must also be stable and robust enough to accommodate wind and solar power from where it is most cost-effectively generated for transmission to load centers nationwide.

To manage such a complex transport system, digitization is a catalyst that can help transmission system operators increase energy efficiency and use these assets more productively, reliably and safely. Digitization means creating and collecting data – from sensors, automation equipment and entire assets, harnessing it to obtain actionable insights to optimize network operations, whether to manage an increase in demand, an overheating transformer or aging switchgear insulation. In practice, it is well known that power producers and utilities currently analyze and apply less than 10% of their available data resources recorded. It is therefore essential that the data generated from the transmission assets in the field is processed to maximize the use of existing assets. Cloud-based analytics, state-of-the-art computing and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled architecture must enable the power of data to be harnessed.

Benefits of digitization

A current example where digitization has proven to be a savior for the electricity sector by keeping the lights on, is the COVID-19 pandemic. Such events and their consequences are difficult to predict. However, their impacts can be minimized with the help of digital products and systems that provide early indications of any significant risk to avoid a major failure. Other applications such as remote monitoring, equipment health index, maintenance and control schedule, and even virtual acceptance testing of new equipment are in high demand after being proven effective.

Wind energy development

The Vietnamese government and major industry players have slowly started to address the challenges of the transportation network while integrating more renewable energy projects into the country’s portfolio. Siemens Energy is an active player in the country’s transformation process by leading the transition to smart, secure and efficient power grids.

Recent examples are the IaPet-Dak Doa 1 and IaPet-Dak Doa 2 wind farm projects built by Technology Resources Energy (TRE). These two wind farms are part of Vietnam’s on-going Electricity Development Master Plan to further push the integration of renewable energy sources and improve electricity supply. Siemens Energy equipped the substation that connects the IaPet-Dak Doa 1 and 2 wind farms to the EVN transmission system. Among other substation assets, Siemens Energy provided digitally enhanced transmission products with advanced intelligence to the Sensproducts portfolio, including connective circuit breakers, surge arresters and power transformers called Sensformers.

Siemens Energy’s transmission business digitization journey began in 2018 when they introduced the Sensformer as the world’s first full digital transformer. Since then, they have gradually expanded the Sensformer digital portfolio to include the Sensgear, gas-insulated switchgear, circuit breakers, surge arresters, disconnectors, instrument transformers and coil products. All of these substation elements can now be equipped with connectivity through a smart and robust Internet of Things (IoT) gateway that securely transmits the required information to a cloud-based storage and visualization platform.

In an increasingly complex energy landscape, where a large number of small production units are connected to the transmission grid, the volatile injection of renewable energies calls into question the stability of the grid. The conversion of substations into data hubs is an important step in ensuring the sustainability of networks and increasing the competitiveness of renewable energies.

Wind farms IaPet-Dak Doa 1 and IaPet-Dak Doa 2

The Sensformer units for the IaPet-Dak Doa 1 and IaPet-Dak Doa 2 wind farms have advanced features and come with a digital twin, a synchronized thermo-replication of the physical asset, which acts as a twin of the unit. and allows the operator to manage temporary overloads without compromising the life of transformers. It uses ambient and equipment information as the basis for predicting how the real unit will react to a particular transient event.

Siemens Energy supplied and installed three Sensformers 500 kV and two Sensformers 220 kV, three connective circuit breakers 500 kV and six 200 kV with advanced tendency as well as 15 connective surge protectors of 500 kV. Sensgear’s advanced upgrade functionality of connected circuit breakers improves productivity by using a digital twin and artificial intelligence. Operators, for example, are forced to pay special attention to SF6, a greenhouse gas with high global warming potential and widely used in high voltage applications. Frequent inspection visits to equipment, inventory and emissions reports, which are increasingly linked to penalties, will be carried out, resulting in a continuous increase in operating costs.

Sensproducts products with integrated F-gas reporting provide remote inventory measurement in each gas compartment, calculations of SF6 and CO2 emissions, reporting periods and summaries. Faster and more accurate gas trends and forecasts are possible by applying AI models for optimized gas monitoring.

Sensarresters allow operators to check the condition of the surge arrester via online applications in near real time and thus increase the efficiency and sustainability of their assets and operations. The connectivity of the Sensarrester device is done with a smart and robust IoT gateway securely transmitting a minimal amount of required information to a cloud-based storage and visualization platform, giving operators a complete and rapid overview. of their assets.

The field operator is able to verify the status of substation assets via real-time online applications to increase the efficiency and availability of operations. In addition, the company supplied conventional disconnectors, instrument transformers and current limiting reactors.

The commissioning and energization of the substation was completed in October 2021. The IaPet-Dak Doa one and IaPet-Dak Doa two wind farms together include 44 wind turbines which are expected to generate gross energy of around 532,600 MWh per year.