Offshore wind power with the potential to replace oil and gas to become a new driving force for Vietnam's economy

 
The UK aims for offshore wind power to reach 40GW by 2030

 

In the world, offshore wind power is a new trend of the renewable energy industry, not only producing electricity but also contributing significantly to combating climate change due to carbon emissions, as well as producing ultra-clean batteries for many fields. 

Huge potential of offshore wind power

In the world, there are many countries that have developed very strong offshore wind power such as the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands ... Countries with wide seas and highspeed wind all shift their strategies to wind power because of the special advantages of this energy model. International oil and gas companies since the 2000s have also transitioned from fossil energy to renewable energy. From 2010 to 2020, these corporations accelerated the transition even more strongly, with a particular focus on clean energy and offshore wind power. Recently, China and the U.S. have also been switching to offshore wind power. President Joe Biden announced an acceleration of the sector to 30GW by 2030. He also aims for 4  0GW by  2030.  Close to Vietnam, Taiwan also plans 10 GW by 2030. Vietnam does  not currently have any offshore wind power projects and has new onshore and nearshore wind power projects with an installed capacity of about 630MW or about 0.63GW. Expected the total installed capacity of offshore wind power reaches 3-5GW by 2030, these are very small numbers compared to the real potential of Vietnam.

According to international organizations such as the World Bank and the Danish energy agency DEA, with a long coastline and huge wind potential, Vietnam's wind power has the potential to reach 475 GW, particularly in terms of technical potential and good development capacity of 160 GW. On average, the investment price of offshore wind power is about 3 billion US dollars for a GW, Vietnam needs to attract more than 500 billion US dollars for this field. The DEA recommends that Viet Nam set a wind power target of 10GW by 2030. Currently, Vietnam has a total installed capacity of about 70 GW for all types of electricity, by 2030 it is expected to be 140 GW. With this figure,  only offshore wind power if developed stronglyhas been enough to meet the electricity demand for the whole of Vietnam, helping the country not depend on imported raw materials such as coal andgas.

Wind power in national renewable energy planning

The Political Ministry's Resolution No. 55-NQ/TW on The Strategic Direction of Vietnam's National Energy Development Strategy to 2030, with a vision to 2045, emphasizes the importance of renewable energy in the development of the national energy source.

The resolution of the 13th National Party Congress on "Promoting the development and improvement of the efficiency of marine economies" also proposed renewable energy as one of the new marine economic sectors, especially important to help Vietnam towards its goal of becoming a developed country by 2045.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is also collecting comments on the Draft Report on Strategic Environmental Assessment of the National Energy Master Plan for the period 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050. The report was made by the Energy Institute (Ministry of Industry and Trade). Regarding the electricity sector, the draft clearly states the orientation: The capacity structure has gradually changed in the direction of gradually reducing the proportion of coal thermal power, gradually increasing the proportion of gas thermal power sources and renewable energy. The proportion of hydropower will gradually decrease because it has now exploited almost all its potential, wind and solar power sources will be developed strongly in thefuture, the proportion of renewable energycapacity (including large hydropower) will reach 49% in 2020, 48% in 2030 and 53% in 2045.

Thus, it can be seen that renewable energy including wind power is the future of Vietnam's energy sector. According to EVN, up to now, this unit has signed a power purchase contract with 113 wind power projects, the total capacity is 6038MW. In terms of wind power, it can be divided into onshore wind power, nearshore wind  power and offshore wind power.

In terms of potential, the total scale of onshore wind potential is quite large, but mainly the low wind potential (4.5-5.5m/s) and average (5.5-6m/s), high wind potential (over 6 m/s) is limited.

As mentioned above, offshore wind power has a technical potential of about 160GW. The greatest offshore wind potential is in the South Central region. Currently, Several investors have registered for research in the South Central region with a total capacity of up to about 15GW, especially the thang long offshore wind power project (scale of 3.4GW in Ke Ga, Binh Thuan province)  has been approved in principle by the Prime Minister.

The project changes the National energy vision

Thang Long Wind offshore wind power project invested by Enterprize Energy Group (UK - Singapore) is being considered for included in the list of power projects in power masterplan VIII. This is a project in the waters of Binh Thuan province, 20km - 50km off the Ke Ga Cape; water depth from 20m-50m.

Logo of thang long wind offshore wind power project is expected to invest 11.9 billion US dollars in Vietnam

 

"This is a pioneering offshore wind power project in Vietnam, also the first time an investor has proposed a negotiated price mechanism, not asking for price incentives like other renewable energy projects. We also propose to invest in a 500Kv transmission line from Binh Thuan to Dong Nai with a length of 110km and from Binh Thuan to Binh Duong with a length of 160Km," said Ian Hatton, founder and chairman of Enterprize Energy Group, the investor of Thang Long Wind project.

Thang Long project has a capacity of 3,400MW of annual electricity output of about 15 to 16 billion kWh, with a total investment of about 11.9 billion USD. This is a huge project of investment capital that has a huge scale with a huge workload from processing, building stands, tubin support pillars, providing services, yards, ports, construction, installation of 220kV underground cables under the sea, construction of 220kV substation offshore and a variety of other services at sea. 

Conference on offshore wind power organized by Thang Long Wind in December 2019.

The investor claims a localization rate of up to 50% of the total US$11.9 billion. The localization rate can be so high because Vietnam has the infrastructure of the oil and gas industry available for manufacturing as well as providing logistics services. For all of the above reasons,  this huge wind power project has the potential to replace oil and gas to become a new driving force to boost Vietnam's economy.

"We also propose the technology of producing hydrogen from seawater electrolyzed electricity to obtain gas for the storage of electricity, as well as producing batteries supplied to transportation, industry, and ammonia production to serve the chemical, fertilizer and pharmaceutical industry of Vietnam. These are very special added values of this offshore wind power project,"  added Ian Hatton.

Thang Long Wind project has been agreed by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to conduct sea swing surveys within the scope of the project's research. According to the survey, the average wind speed in the research area reached 9.7 m/s exceeding the data of Vietnam's estimates, international organizations and investorexpectations, allowing the use of turbines with a large power output of 10  to 17MW / turbine.

It can be said that offshore wind power is a renewable energy source, replacing fossil fuels such as coal thermal power plants, gas thermal power, oil thermal power, contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, combating climate change in accordance with international commitments. According to the Global Wind Association's 2020 Offshore Wind Power Report, the cost of offshore wind power production decreased rapidly: From over 25.5 UScents/kWh in 2010 to 8.3 UScents/kWh in 2020 (down 67.5%) and by 2025 it is 5.8 UScents/kWh (a further decrease of 30.1%). The investor of the project is committed to negotiating electricity prices with relevant partners of Vietnam to have competitive electricity selling prices. The annual electricity output of the project from 15 to 16 billion kWh per year is equivalent to a coal thermal power project with a capacity of about 2,400MW that will create abundant energy sources for the country to replace fossil fuels that pollute the environment and have been saturationly exploited.

 

Offshore wind power can produce hydrogen and take advantage of oil and gas infrastructure, increasing the localization rate when investing in Vietnam.

Vietnam currently has a favorable time to develop offshore wind power. The necessary condition is that the amount of wind that has been surveyed is very good, allowing for greater turbine production and higher energy production efficiency. The main condition is the very strong oil and gas infrastructure built over the past decades. Therefore, wind power development is the right path, simultaneously solving all three problems: investors recover capital, people are entitled to reduced electricity prices and not subject to polluted environment, the state collects taxes through localization and does not have to compensate for electricity prices. 

 

The huge offshore wind power project in the UK is enough to provide electricity to 1 million people.

Vietnam must take advantage of the opportunity to develop these one-of-a-might wind power projects, not only to ensure energy security, create jobs for people and businesses, but also to contribute significantly to ensuring the security and sovereignty of thecountry. If done correctly and drastically, many analysts have expected offshore wind power to create new Bach Ho mines, with many wind lots waiting for investors to enter. Wind is an important resource that needs to be the number one priority to promote GDP growth for Vietnam.

 

Source: Oriental Magazine