With Vietnam’s energy demand projected to increase by more than 10 per cent annually in the next five years and required power capacity to double, the country is moving to diversify its energy mix, including plans to generate more power from renewable sources. The rooftop solar market will be essential for Vietnam to meet its massive energy needs.
For five months, Mac Nhu Lai, a 57-year-old resident in Ho Chi Minh City has been using a three kilowatt-peak (kWp) rooftop solar photovoltaic system called BigKilowatt. The system saved 30 per cent on his electricity bill and increased his income by selling electricity back to the national power grid. “Reducing the electricity bill, the solar rooftop panels help reduce our environmental footprint,” Lai said. Solar rooftop systems became popular in Vietnam. By installing solar panels and a green roof, owners can save costs and enjoy the socio-environmental benefits of a living roof. The Vietnamese commercial and industrial sectors has shown a lot of interest in solar rooftop panels.The 2015-2018 period has seen a number of investments and investment announcements for new or expanded PV module and cell manufacturing capacities. These investments are partly made by local Vietnamese investors such as the expansion of the existing Red Sun module manufacturing or the Solar BK/IREX module and cell manufacturing plants, but feature mostly foreign (mainly Chinese) investors such as Canadian Solar Inc., CSUN, Boviet, Vietnam Sunergy JSC or Vina Solar. The power market is witnessing a boom in solar power projects as local and foreign investors are racing to reap the benefits of the 9.35 US cent feed-in-tariff (FiT).