Dau Tieng Solar Power Project, a photovoltaic power farm with a total capacity of 600 MW, located 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam. Image: Tammy Le via Wikipedia Commons A new era dawns for solar power in Vietnam. Last month, the Vietnamese government announced it would shift to an auction system for future ground-mounted solar projects, overruling a previous proposal of a second round of its immensely successful feed-in-tariff scheme. The move, which would cut the tariff scheme that was to expire in 2021 short by one year, sparked dismay among domestic developers whose projects will be affected. But provided the Southeast Asian nation does everything right, auctions could bring long-term benefits to Vietnam’s power supply, including reduced electricity prices, better grid management and improved oversight of clean energy projects. The programme’s implementation, however, will be a balancing act. In theory, letting developers bid on solar projects rather than paying a fixed feed-in-tariff for power exported to the grid could help slash electricity prices. Auctions, after all, encourage competition, allowing only developers who beat others on the power price at which they can realise a project to participate in the market. But to […]

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