According to the forecast by the state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Group, power output in 2020 is expected to reach more than 261.45 billion kWh, increasing 9.1 percent compared to 2019 in adherence with the year’s socioeconomic growth plan.
Concerns about power supply
Based on the calculation of electricity supply and demand in 2020, ensuring electricity supply for the dry season (which generally runs from November to April) poses a challenge due to the volume of water stored in hydroelectric reservoirs which decreased 4.55 billion cu.m of water compared to normal levels by the end of 2019.
In addition, there are few backup power supply systems, and new power projects still lag behind schedule due to site clearance difficulties, whereas the supply of coal and gas fuels for electricity production is risky and unpredictable. EVN Chair Duong Quang Thanh conceded that power supply in 2020 and the following years will be challenging, but added that the company’s oil-fired and coal-fired thermal power units have been mobilized to ensure sufficient supply for demand. Gas-fired power sources are also an important component, accounting for 13 percent of capacity and 18 percent of output in the power generation structure.
However, domestic gas sources have been declining in recent years and since the beginning of 2019, gas for electricity generation has only met about 66 percent of demand. Nor is the forecast very encouraging given that demand for gas to generate power is expected to grow from 8.5 to 9.5 billion cu.m per year or more in the 2020 to 2025 period.
Efforts to ensure power saving
EVN has directed its member units to concentrate on ensuring electricity for the six-month dry season of 2020. Its Instruction 04-CT/DU urges units to effectively implement the program on economical use of electricity, and continue to apply science and technology to improve labor productivity and business efficiency.
To that end, EVN and its units have formulated monthly power supply plans for safe and reliable operation of the electricity system and efficient exploitation of power sources. That includes the use of water resources for electricity generation in conjunction with ensuring water supply for agricultural production in lowland areas, and contingency plans for unfavorable situations.
EVN also asked the units to speed up repair and maintenance of coal and gas thermal power plants, ensuring the highest availability for the dry season. The subsidiaries are also urged to improve procurement of coal and gas in order to ensure the operations of grid projects, especially those scheduled to be completed in the first half of this year, among them key projects supplying electricity to the south and Hanoi region.
A series of solutions to electricity saving and load management have also been implemented, such as assigning units to save two percent of their commercial electricity output; developing rooftop solar power with total capacity of 550 MWp; and promoting information on power saving. The EVN Group also plans to expand the Demand Response Program (DR) for large electricity users.
|EVN has directed its power corporations to draw up monthly power supply plans, cooperate with local authorities and enterprises to regulate electrical loads, and be ready to operate available power resources for enterprises when necessary.