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Korean firms eye investment in renewable energy in Vietnam

Workers install solar panels in the central province of Quang Ngai. Korean investors are keen to invest in renewable energy in Vietnam due to its potential and government incentives. Photo: VNA/VNS
Korean investors are keen to invest in renewable energy due to its potential and the incentives that Vietnam has offered to foreign investors, an HSBC official has said.

Speaking recently with Vietnam News, Pham Hong Hai, CEO of HSBC Vietnam, said that electricity was one of the most important investments of Korean businesses into Vietnam. “Korean firms are now looking to invest in the renewable energy sector.”

The investment trend from the Republic of Korea (RoK) was highlighted at the Vietnam–Korea Electricity and Renewable Energy Forum held earlier this year.

Vietnam plans to cooperate with the RoK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change and environmental protection. It will also assist Vietnam in personnel training and technological transfer in the field, he said.

As the country is growing, Vietnam needs more power sources. Coal and nuclear power could be short-term solutions, but air quality might be affected.

If Vietnam pursues sustainable growth, renewable energy is an area that will attract foreign investment.

The Government has issued regulations on tax relief for renewable projects, as well as a strategic plan for renewable energy development and a national power development plan.

Power demand is forecast to grow by more than 10 percent each year from now to the end of 2020 and by 8 percent annually during 2021-2030.

According to the Vietnam Energy Association, Vietnam aims to increase renewable power to 32 percent of the total energy mix by 2030 and to 43 percent by 2050.

The potential for developing renewable energy is huge, especially for solar power production as the country is located in the equatorial area with a hot climate all year long in the south and central regions.

Abundant energy sources such as wind, solar power and biomass remain largely untapped, according to Hai.

To realise the great potential of solar power, the Government has developed policies to speed up investment in the sector.

Advantages for foreign investors include the favourable geographic location of the country and the Government's incentive policies.

The RoK’s investment in ASEAN member countries last year rose by 16.7 percent over 2017.

Vietnam accounted for 51.5 percent of the RoK’s total investment in ASEAN, followed by Singapore with 25.6 percent.