Viet Nam has installed 6 coal plants’ worth of solar in a year

SourceWorld Economic Forum
CountryMiddle east

Global energy demand slipped last year to the lowest level since World War II. As fossil fuels declined, renewables have surged forward. Coal-dependent Viet Nam has pulled off a 25-fold increase in its solar capacity in just one year. Incentives for homes and businesses to install rooftop solar panels led to the boom. One of the few bright spots in COVID-19 pandemic has been a leap in the amount of electricity being generated from renewable sources. 2020 saw the biggest fall in energy demand since World War Two, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). That’s a drop seven times larger than that caused by the global financial crisis of 2008/9. At the same time, the share of energy generated from renewables leapt 7% last year. “It’s mostly driven by solar energy,” said Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director.

“Renewables appear to be immune from COVID.” One place that illustrates this trend is Viet Nam, which offered generous incentives to households and businesses to install rooftop solar last year. By the time the scheme ended, 9.3 gigawatts of extra generating capacity had been added – equivalent to six coal-fired plants. The country, which has previously been heavily dependent on coal more...