Japanese electronics giant Sharp has signed an agreement with Vietnam’s Gia Lai Electricity JSC to build a huge 48MW solar plant in Thua Thien Hue Province on Vietnam’s central coast.
The Vietnamese government has formulated a plan to raise solar power generation capacity in the country to 12,000 MW by the year 2030 and Sharp sees the new plant as an opportunity to make further inroads in solar power plant construction across the country, while contributing to the spread of renewable energy in Vietnam.
The plant will be built immediately and is expected to start operations in September 2018. Under current configuration, the plant is expected to generate enough power for 32,600 average households.
The new solar plant will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 20,00 tons per year compared to coal-fired power plants, which play a key role in Vietnam’s energy chain.
Solar power currently accounts for only 0.01 percent of the country’s total power output, but the government plans to increase the ratio to 3.3% by 2030 and to 20% by 2050.
The investment by Sharp comes at a time when the Vietnamese government is calling for investment in solar powered and wind energy projects after plans to build two nuclear power plants were scrapped in November 2016.
Vietnam depends largely on hydropower and thermal power plants for its electricity demands, but the projects have often drawn criticism from both local and international communities due to environmental concerns. The country plans to produce 10.7% of its electricity through renewable energy by 2030, primarily through solar and wind energy and is actively seeking investments into renewable energy’s.