The government policy encouraging investment in the power sector has created a firm framework for the development of solar energy.
To generate 1 MW of electricity, solar energy investors need 1.1 hectares of land. However, despite the large land fund needed, economists think that developing solar energy has many advantages.
As equipment, operation and maintenance costs are getting cheaper, solar energy is becoming more attractive than other types of clean energy.
Investors are pouring billions of dollars into clean energy projects in Binh Thuan province, which is bestowed by nature with abundance of wind and sun. VietnamnetBridge
Up to 72 percent of Binh Thuan province's area has solar radiation of over 5 kWh/m/day, the level high enough to make solar projects economically feasible.
With such great potential, the authorities of Binh Thuan have called for investments in solar energy projects, hoping to turn the locality into a clean energy production center.
More and more solar energy projects in Binh Thuan province have registered recently, most of which have average capacity of 30 MW.
These include Vinh Hao Solar Power Plant with the capacity of 30 MW, Eco Seido Tuy Phong 40 MW and VSP Binh Thuan 2 30 MW.
To date, 43 projects of this kind have been registered in Binh Thuan with total designed capacity of 967 MW. These plants will be developed in 2017-2020 under the plan of the provincial authorities’ to develop solar energy by 2020.
Reuters reported that Dak Lak province has recently licensed solar energy projects capitalized at $3.3 billion in total. The investors are the US-based AES Group, South Korean Solar Park Global, Vietnamese Xuan Thien Dak Lak and Long Thanh Investment and Infrastructure Development.
Why are investors interested in solar energy?
According to Dang Hong Son, CEO of VSP Binh Thuan II, which now runs two 30 MW solar energy plants in Binh Thuan, solar energy technology is developing more rapidly than wind power.
“It is nearly impossible to reduce the solar panel price and it is now the right time to make investment,” he said.
According to Bui Huy Phung from the Energy Science Institute, the investment rate of wind power is $2.4-2.6 million per MW, while it is just $2 million for solar power.
Some companies have offered the price of $1.3 million per MW only. The investment rates are still higher than hydraulic and thermal power, but they are on the decrease.
The largest solar power project is the one in Song Binh commune in Binh Thuan province, developed by the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). It has capacity of 200 MW, covering an area of 282 hectares.