Renewable Energy: Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnam

Renewable Energy: Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnam

Vietnam needs to implement more renewable energy projects (Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach)

Renewable energy is one of the crucial solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. It is generated from constantly renewable natural sources such as wind, solar, water, geothermal, biomass, etc. Renewable energy has various benefits for the environment, economy, and society, including:

  • Reducing dependence on fossil fuels, lowering import costs, and enhancing energy security.
  • Creating employment and income for people, especially in rural and mountainous areas.
  • Decreasing air, water, and soil pollution, safeguarding human health and biodiversity.
  • Contributing to sustainable, equitable, and peaceful development.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam has significant potential for renewable energy, especially solar and wind energy. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) statistics, Vietnam's total installed renewable energy capacity in 2020 was 17,023 MW, accounting for 25.4% of the country's total installed electricity capacity1. Specifically, hydropower accounted for 16,026 MW, solar energy 925 MW, wind energy 70 MW, and biomass energy 2 MW1. Vietnam has also set a target to increase the proportion of renewable energy in its power structure to 21% by 2030 and 30% by 20452.

However, to develop renewable energy effectively and sustainably, Vietnam needs to address several challenges and difficulties, such as:

  • Lack of supportive policies and incentives for investors and businesses in the renewable energy sector3.
  • Lack of infrastructure and power grid connections for renewable energy projects, especially in remote and island areas3.
  • Lack of high-level technologies, equipment, and specialized workforce in the renewable energy field3.
  • Lack of community and stakeholder engagement and awareness in using and protecting renewable energy sources3.

Renewable energy is an irreversible trend and a significant opportunity for Vietnam to develop a green and environmentally friendly economy. To maximize this potential, Vietnam needs comprehensive and appropriate solutions, including:

  • Establishing and implementing policies, regulations, and support mechanisms for renewable energy projects, such as electricity pricing, taxes, finance, land, etc4.
  • Investing in and upgrading infrastructure and power grids to connect and transmit renewable energy sources safely and efficiently4.
  • Collaborating and learning from experiences, technologies, and advanced equipment from developed countries in the field of renewable energy4.
  • Training and developing a qualified and competent workforce in the renewable energy field4.
  • Disseminating and raising awareness within the community and stakeholders about the benefits and role of renewable energy while encouraging energy-saving behaviors and efficient energy use4.

Renewable energy is a crucial solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. Vietnam has significant potential in renewable energy, but it also needs to address challenges and difficulties to develop renewable energy effectively and sustainably. Vietnam needs comprehensive and appropriate solutions, including policies, infrastructure, technology, workforce, and awareness, to maximize the potential of renewable energy and move towards a clean and environmentally friendly energy economy.


  1. Current Situation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Vietnam - SIS CERT
  2. Global Increase in Fossil Fuel Emissions
  3. Global CO2 Emissions Reach Record Highs in 2022
  4. COP27: Record High CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuels