Tag Archives: DPPA

Corporate direct renewable energy deals in Vietnam move closer

Corporate renewable power purchase deals are a step closer to reality in Vietnam following a proposal from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) recommending the Prime Minister approve a so-called DPPA pilot project this year.   In Proposal 544 dated 21 Jan 2020, the MOIT gave its formal recommendation to the PM to approve a pilot program for between 400MW – 1,000 MW of wind and solar generation capacity and provided a draft PM Decision that would enact such a pilot and establish the process to implement and operate it.

[Click here for the original Vietnamese language version of Proposal 544 and the accompanying draft Decision and here for an unofficial English translation of the draft Decision.]

Duane Morris is the legal advisor to the USAID-funded Vietnam Low Emissions Energy Program (VLEEP) that has spent several years working closely with the MOIT, ERAV, investors and consumers to advocate for a DPPA pilot program and propose a specific design and parameters.  Among other things, Duane Morris developed an action plan to devise and implement a DPPA legal framework that fits within Vietnam’s existing electricity sector legislation and is developing template agreements for use by DPPA pilot project participants.

Enabling corporate power purchases is a major step forward to enable corporates to meet their clean power objectives in Vietnam, something hitherto all but impossible.  Vietnam is home to many RE100 investors and their supply chain counterparts and demand for direct procurement of verifiable clean energy is high.  At the same time, the specific DPPA design (a virtual or synthetic model) supports the continuing development of Vietnam’s relatively nascent competitive wholesale electricity market (VWEM) and has the potential to unlock greater private financing of new clean energy capacity at a time when private finance is needed more than ever.

If the PM approves the pilot program Vietnam will be in good company.  Corporate renewable power purchase deals are growing rapidly around the world and show no signs of slowing down.  Bloomberg has reported that corporations directly bought a record 20GW of wind and solar production in 2019, some 44% more than in 2018 and triple the number in 2017.  This was said to amount to more than 10% of all the renewable energy capacity added globally in 2019, at a build cost of some US$20-$30 billion.

While the majority of these deals were in the US, activity in other markets is gathering pace.  Vietnam’s enabling legislation, if approved by the PM, is likely to see strong interest here on both investor, and consumer sides of the equation.

According to the Bloomberg report, more than 80% of the 2019 deals were done using virtual PPA models (synthetic contracts) which is consistent with the model recommended by the MOIT to the PM in Vietnam.

The PM’s draft Decision contemplates renewable gencos participating directly in the VWEM and agreeing contracts for differences (CfDs) with consumers at agreed long-term strike prices.  Consumers are motivated to participate to meet sustainability goals, satisfy customer expectations and to hedge against long-term power price fluctuations.

The draft PM Decision recommended by the MOIT contemplates a process to implement the pilot project as follows:

  1. Within 15 working days from the date on which the formal DPPA Decision comes into effect (still TBC), MOIT will publicize the details of the pilot program.
  2. Within 15 working days thereafter, MOIT will open an e-application portal for interested DPPA program participants (both gencos and consumers).
  3. Interested participants will have 45 working days thereafter to prepare and submit applications.
  4. The MOIT will have a further 45 working days to assess, select and publish a list of participants.
  5. Participants will then have 180 working days to negotiate and execute necessary agreements, complete development of projects and achieve commercial operation (for participation in the wholesale market).

These steps and timelines will be subject to final approval of the PM in the formal Decision.  It is expected that further details re project application details and assessment criteria and process will be developed by the MOIT.

Contact us for further details about the proposed design of the DPPA pilot project, the agreements involved and the process to get involved as either genco investor or consumer offtaker.

For more information about Vietnam’s energy sector, please contact Giles at GTCooper@duanemorris.com or any of the lawyers in our office listing. Giles is co-General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, branch director of Duane Morris’ HCMC office and Asia lead for Duane Morris’ Energy Industry Group.

Direct Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) to be piloted in Vietnam in 2019 in Vietnam – Opportunities for producers of renewable energy and foreign firms as buyers – how best to use the CPTPP and the EUVNFTA to make it work

In recent years, Vietnam has enjoyed one of the world’s most rapid economic growth rates i.e., an average of more than 6% p.a. Such growth has transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world into a middle-income country. Vietnam has long recognized the important role of renewable energy in achieving energy security, sustainable development and stable growth rate.

Vietnam has a wide range of primary energy sources such as crude oil, coal, natural gas and hydro power for economic development. However, Vietnam has experienced formidable risks for its economy to be based on fossil fuels. For example, in April 2015, thousands of residents blocked a national highway for more than 30 hours in a protest against pollution by the Vinh Tan 2 coal power plants. It seems most of the hydro resource potential for hydro power plants will be fully exploited soon. Those are just two examples of incidents that could significantly affect the national power security power of Vietnam. Accordingly, Vietnam must reduce its reliance on less “environmentally friendly” primary fossil fuel, and promoting renewable energy promptly.

The revised Power Development Plan for 2011 – 2020, vision to 2030 (revised PDP VII), adopted in 2016, is evidence of a growing appreciation of the role alternative sources of energy, targets a 7% share of electricity generated from renewable energy by 2020 and 10% plus by 2030. The revised PDP VII forecasts the electricity demand using an annual average growth rate at 10% from 2011 to 2030. The demand will increase from 86 TWh in 2010 to 265 – 278 TWh in 2020 and 572-632 TWh in 2030. The estimated installed capacity would be 60 GW in 2020 and 129.5 GW in 2030.

Since early 2017, there has been a surge of solar and wind projects approved by the Government after the promulgation of new feed-in-tariffs (“FITs”) for on-grid solar projects and other reforming policies to attract foreign and local investment on this green industry.

On 12 June 2018, at a seminar on renewable energy, the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (“ERAV”) discussed and disclosed information on regulations for implementation of a pilot for Direct Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (“DPPA”) and renewable energy sector. Generally, DPPA is an agreement made between the power generator and a corporate customer in which power output is physically delivered and sold to the corporate customer for its operation. ERAV informed that it is a time consuming process since ERAV and its consultants had to conduct research and collect massive information on fundamental issues, design, details and criteria for DPPAs, especially for similar cases such as Vietnam. It is also challenging for ERAV to cooperate and consult other departments of MOIT on the DPPA pilot.

Currently, ERAV’s consultants have submitted a first preliminary report on international experience regarding basic design, mechanism and operation of DPPA. It is known that ERAV and its consultants also sent questionnaire papers to several industry and sectors, companies and stakeholders aimed at seeking their opinion on consumer market, demand, participants, and other issues.

When such report is available, ERAV will arrange a seminar for introduction of the same and seeking opinion from all stakeholders. At this stage, there is no final decisions on capacity, licensing process, participants, location, wheeling fee, and contractual terms for the piloted DPPA. However, ERAV is considering some models as below:

• Physical DPPA: (a) onsite DPPA where the power plants to be constructed around the consumers, and / or (ii) offshore DPPA where power plants to be constructed anywhere.
• Financial DPPA: this would be formed with competitive market for selling power.

ERAV also shared that the DPPA pilot would be preferably designed for 110 KV or more system (not 220 KV or 22-25 KV) since this system is the most popular, efficient and feasible.

Market access in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and EU – Vietnam FTA (EVFTA)

Currently, there is no foreign ownership restriction in energy sector in local laws or Vietnam’s international commitments. The foreign investor may choose among permitted investment forms: 100% foreign invested company, joint venture or public private partnership in the form of BOT contract. For your information, Vietnam ties in first place with Singapore in terms of market access liberalization.

The recent conclusion of the EVFTA negotiation and legal review and the signing of the CPTPP further opens the market to foreign investors. The investors now can bring their technology and know-how, especially those from countries with high level of development in renewable sectors such as Germany, to Vietnam with less market access barriers and being more secured. In particular, the CPTPP and the EVFTA make it possible that foreign investors could sue Vietnam’s Government for its investment related decisions according to the dispute settlement by arbitration rules. The final arbitral award is binding and enforceable without any question from the local courts regarding its validity. This is an advantage for investors considering the fact that the percentage of annulled foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam remains relatively high for different reasons.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com or any other lawyer in our office listing if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.


Am 12. Juni 2018 erörterte und veröffentlichte die Elektrizitätsregulierungsbehörde von Vietnam [engl. Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam („ERAV‘)] auf einem Seminar über erneuerbare Energien, weitere Informationen über Regelungen für die Umsetzung einer Pilotvereinbarung zu direkten Stromabnahmeverträgen [engl ‚Direct Power Purchase Agreement‘ (“DPPA”)] und über den Sektor der erneuerbaren Energien. Die direkten Stromabnahmeverträge werden es Energieerzeugungsunternehmen ermöglichen, ihren Strom direkt an private Abnehmer zu verkaufen. Wir möchten die folgenden Schlüsselthemen skizzieren:

Direkte PPA
Seit Anfang 2017 hat das MOIT die ERAV beauftragt mit USAID und Beratern zusammenzuarbeiten, um internationale Erfahrungen und umsetzbare Modelle für DPPA in Vietnam zu recherchieren. Die ERAV teilte mit, dass dies ein zeitaufwendiger Prozess sei, da die ERAV und ihre Berater umfangreiche Informationen zu grundlegenden Fragen, Gestaltung, Details und Kriterien für DPPAs, insbesondere für ähnliche Fälle wie Vietnam recherchieren und sammeln mussten. Darüber hinaus ist es für die ERAV eine Herausforderung mit anderen Abteilungen des MOITs an dem Pilot-DPPA zusammenzuarbeiten und diese zu beraten. Gegenwärtig haben die Berater der ERAV einen ersten vorläufigen Bericht über internationale Erfahrungen in Bezug auf grundlegende Gestaltung, Mechanismen und die Ausführung von DPPA vorgelegt. Es ist bekannt, dass die ERAV und ihre Berater Fragebögen an verschiedene Industriezweige und Sektoren, Unternehmen und Interessenvertreter geschickt haben, um ihre Meinung zu Verbrauchermarkt, Nachfrage, Teilnehmern und anderen Themen zu erhalten. Die ERAV erwartet, dass ihre Berater den endgültigen Bericht über die DPPA Modelle im Juli 2018 ausarbeiten können. Wenn ein solcher Bericht vorliegt, wird die ERAV gegen Ende Juli 2018 ein Seminar zur Vorstellung desselben organisieren, um sich die Meinungen der Interessenvertreter einzuholen. Gegenwärtig gibt es noch keine endgültigen Entscheidungen im Hinblick auf Kapazität, den Lizensierungsprozess, Teilnehmern, Standort, Netzdurchleitungsgebühr und Vertragsbedingungen für das Pilot-DPPA. Die ERAV prüft jedoch einige Modelle, wie die Folgenden:
• Physisches DPPA: (a) Onshore-DPPA, bei dem die Solarkraftwerke um die Verbraucher herum gebaut werden, und/ oder (ii) Offshore-DPPA, bei dem die Solarkraftanlagen irgendwo gebaut werden,
• Finanzielles DPPA: dies würde mit einem wettbewerbsfähigen Markt für den Verkauf von Strom gebildet werden. Die ERAV teilte auch mit, dass das Pilot- DPPA vorzugsweise für 110 KV (nicht 220 KV oder 22-25 KV) ausgelegt sein sollte, da dieses System in Vietnam am beliebtesten, effizient und machbar ist. Es wird erwartet, dass das erste Gesetz, das DPPAs ermöglichen wird, im 4. Quartal dieses Jahres 2018 in Kraft treten wird.

Solar- und Windprojekte
In Bezug auf den FIT für Solar- und Windenergie bleiben diese Preise unter den geltenden FIT-Vorschriften unverändert (z. B. Decision 11). Die ERAV erklärte, dass die Technologie- und Infrastrukturkosten für Solar- / Windenergie in Zukunft niedriger sein werden, sodass dann die Einspeisetarife entsprechend angepasst und gesenkt werden müssten. Die ERAV teilte darüber hinaus mit, dass das MOIT nun ein System zur Bestimmung von Einspeisetarifen durch Ausschreibung / Versteigerung in Erwägung zieht, um eine jährliche Änderung des FIT zu vermeiden. Zu diesem Punkt gibt es jedoch keinen Gesetzentwurf. Es steht zur Diskussion, die Nettomessung gemäß der Entscheidung 11 für Dach-Solarprojekte zu beseitigen, da sie in der Praxis sehr schwer umzusetzen ist. Sie könnte durch eine praktikablere Lösung ersetzt werden. Es ist sehr wahrscheinlich, dass keine Ergänzung zum Solar- / Windmasterplan gemacht werden kann, bis der Energiemasterplan 8 fertiggestellt ist. Gegenwärtig haben genehmigte Projekte für Windkraft- / Solarkraftwerke ihre kombinierte Kapazität deutlich über den Schätzungen des Strommasterplans VII (z. B. 3000 MW für genehmigte Solarstromprojekte gegenüber nur 850 MW im Strommasterplan VII). Die erneuerbaren Energien in Vietnam, insb. im Solarsektor, entwickeln sich schnell. Schauen Sie zu, wie es passiert, oder seien Sie ein Teil davon!
Bitte zögern Sie nicht, Herrn Tran Minh Thanh oder Herrn Dr. Oliver Massmann unter omassmann@duanemorris.com zu kontaktieren, wenn Sie Fragen haben oder mehr über das obenstehende erfahren wollen. Oliver Massmann ist der Generaldirektor von Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.