HANOI, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Though Vietnam plans to enhance its renewable energy capacity, the country is forecast to expand coal-powered generation as this cheap source remains the most feasible option to meet its rapidly rising electricity demand, daily newspaper Vietnam News on Wednesday quoted local and foreign experts as saying.
Tran Viet Ngai, chairman of the Vietnam Energy Association, said coal-fired power would still play a key role in the country's electricity industry next year.
According to the association, coal-fired power output per capita in Vietnam currently stands at 793 kWh, much lower than the world's average level of 1,290 kWh.
According to experts of London-based macroeconomic research firm Fitch Solutions Macro Research, Vietnam's coal-powered generation is likely to grow rapidly over the next decade and dominate the country's power sector expansion, mainly because hydropower potential has already been almost fully exploited, and depleting domestic gas reserves will not sustain a substantial ramp-up in gas-fired generation over the longer term.
However, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong has said the rapid increase in energy demand and consumption, at around 10 percent per year, had negative impacts on the environment as well as exhausted natural resources and affected energy security.