A new proposed tariff structure for solar energy projects in Vietnam sets out different rates for different irradiation regions and gives long-awaited indication of direction for the market after 30 June 2019. On 29 January 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT“) released parts of a draft decision to update the country’s current feed in tariff (FiT) structure which is only valid until 30 June 2019 (the “Draft”).
The Draft is of course still just that, a draft, but forecasts a clear change in strategy with respect to FiTs.
Under the current FiT policy (regulated by Decision 11 and Decision 16) there is only one FiT for all projects regardless of location. That is an internationally respectable FiT of 9.35 US cents per kWh for all on-grid solar power projects that achieve commercial operation date (“COD”) prior to 30 June 2019 (with the exception of some projects in Ninh Thuan province which have a later COD timeline).
The Draft however sets out a wide range of differing FiTs that vary based on: (i) when COD happens, (ii) location (3 regions are identified based on solar irradiation data), and (iii) the type of solar projects (i.e., floating, ground-mounted, integrated storage system or rooftop solar).
The table below shows what the Draft contemplates:
|Projects with COD from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
|Solar power types||Region 1 (see regions below)
(28 northern provinces with annual solar irradiation of up to 1,432.8 kWh/m2/year)
(6 central provinces of Vietnam with annual solar irradiation of up to 1,676.1 kWh/m2/year)
(29 central highlands and southern provinces of Vietnam with annual solar irradiation of up to 1,910.3 kWh/m2/year)
|VND / kWh||US cent equivalent||VND / kWh||US cent equivalent||VND / kWh||US cent equivalent|
|Floating solar power projects||2,135||9.35||1,838||8.05||1,612||7.06|
|Ground-mounted solar power projects||2,095||9.18||1,802||7.89||1,583||6.94|
|Solar power projects with integrated storage system||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||2,052||8.99|
|Rooftop solar power projects||2,448||9.85||1,933||8.47||1,697||7.43|
|Projects with COD from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
|Floating solar power projects||2,028||8.88||1,746||7.65||1,531||6.71|
|Ground-mounted solar power projects||1,990||8.72||1,712||7.50||1,504||6.59|
|Solar power projects with integrated storage system||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||1,949||8.54|
|Rooftop solar power projects||2,023||8.86||1,740||7.62||1,527||6.69|
While no changes will please everyone, especially the many developers who have committed considerable resources based on assumptions of the current FiT rate, the changes still indicate strong support for solar power projects generally and a rational approach to reflect the markedly different irradiation levels across the country. Such an approach should take some pressure of heavily-stretched Southern hotspots (stretched from both power infrastructure and bureaucratic bottleneck perspectives).
We will continue to monitor this and update further as possible. Meanwhile, we’d be delighted to hear views from developers and financiers about the change of strategic policy direction and FiTs forecast by the Draft. Get in touch and tell us what you think.
Region 1: comprising 28 northern provinces of Vietnam with annual solar irradiation of 1,225.6 – 1,432.8 kWh/m2/year or daily solar irradiation of 3.36 – 3.92 kWh/m2/day. Including: Ha Giang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang, Thai Nguyen, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Lang Son, Quang Ninh, Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Bac Giang, Hai Duong, Hoa Binh, Hanoi, Ha Nam, Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh, Thai Binh, Ha Tinh, Nam Dinh, Quang Binh, Thanh Hoa, Lai Chau, Nghe An and Son La.
Region 2: comprising 6 central provinces of Vietnam with annual solar irradiation of 1,456 – 1,676.1 kWh/m2/year or daily solar irradiation of 3.99 – 4.59 kWh/m2/day. Including: Quang Tri, Dien Bien, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ngai.
Region 3: comprising 29 central highlands and southern provinces of Vietnam with annual solar irradiation of 1,703.9 – 1,910.3 kWh/m2/year or daily solar irradiation of 4.67 – 5.23 kWh/m2/day. Including: Kon Tum, Ca Mau, Hau Giang, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Gia Lai, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Dak Lak, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, An Giang, Dak Nong, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Long An, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Tay Ninh, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.
For more information about Vietnam’s solar and renewable energy sectors, please contact Giles at GTCooper@duanemorris.com, Tran Thanh at MTTran@duanemorris.com or any of the lawyers in our office listing. Giles is co-General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC and branch director of Duane Morris’ HCMC office.