Measures taken to ensure power supply for economic recovery
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Vietnam Electricity (EVN), and experts shared the view that power supply will be basically guaranteed this year, but the challenge is that demand is forecast to surge amid the post-pandemic economic recovery.
Nguyen Quoc Trung, Deputy Director of the National Load Dispatch Centre, said in the 2022 plan on power supply and the national electricity system operations, the MoIT assigned the EVN to ensure safe and stable national power grid operations.
This year’s power demand is predicted to be at about 275.5 billion kWh, corresponding to the GDP growth target of 6 – 6.5%.
Generally speaking, the sector is completely capable of meeting power demand in the central and southern regions, but difficulties may appear in certain points of time in the northern region, particularly in the peak months of the hot season, he said.
The EVN has built power supply scenarios and coordinated with relevant units and customers to carry out different measures to ensure safe operations, adding supply sources, improving transmission capacity, and encouraging efficient electricity use, Trung noted.
He elaborated that the State-owned group is boosting communications to encourage customers to use energy-saving devices, adopt power efficiency practices, and reduce consumption demand. These are particularly effective and cost-saving as power shortages should only occur in certain points of time.
It is important to maintain high water levels in hydropower reservoirs in the latter half of the dry season to boost the system’s capacity, improve the transmission capacity of the arterial 500kV power lines from the central region to the north, and negotiate electricity import in the hot season. It is also needed to coordinate with the parties concerned to guarantee fuel supply for coal-fired power plants so that they can operate at full capacity.
The EVN is speeding up large power generation and grid projects, especially plants in the north and the transmission projects linking the northern and central regions, while increasing electricity import for the northern region. Besides, it is considering energy storage systems and facilitating the development of renewable energy in the north, Trung went on.
The firm has also called for coordination from power plants and suppliers of fuel for electricity production to help achieve the targets.
The National Load Dispatch Centre predicted that the northern region may encounter supply difficulties between now and 2025, mostly because the additional power generation each year is unable to keep up with demand growth during this period.
According to the draft eighth National Power Development Plan, peak demand during 2022 – 2025 will rise by 2,830 MW annually on average while power generation will increase by only 1,565 MW per annum.
However, Trung held that such difficulties will only appear during prolonged heat waves in the latter stage of the dry season, leading to a surge in electricity consumption.
In a recent report, the MoIT said power production and import between January and May reached an estimated 108.7 billion kWh, up 4% year on year. It was 109 million kWh less than the yearly plan.
The EVN noted the production and import will reach 166.6 billion kWh in the remaining months, bringing the total in 2022 to 275.4 billion kWh, up 7.9% compared to 2021.
Reporting on the first quarter’s business results, the group said its system produced 23.45 billion kWh of electricity in March and 63.03 billion kWh in Q1, respectively up 4.9% and 7.8% year on year.
In Q1, 16.48 billion kWh came from hydropower plants, 28.37 billion kWh from thermal power plants, 7.56 billion kWh from gas-fired power turbines, and 10.01 billion kWh from renewable energy, respectively accounting for 26.1%, 45%, 12%, and 15.9% of the total output./.