On October 27, 2021, the ‘Consultation Workshop: Handbook for managing technical and operational risks of ground-mounted solar PV projects in Viet Nam’ took place online. The workshop is aimed at introducing the draft of the ‘Handbook for managing technical and operational risks of ground-mounted solar PV projects in Viet Nam,’ thereby collecting feedback and evaluation from project planners, project managers and industry technical experts about the content and usefulness of the Handbook before finalization and publication. The workshop is within the framework of the EU – Viet Nam Energy Facility (EVEF), which is co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Over 100 participants attended the workshop, including Mr. Koen Duchateau, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, and Mr. Sven Ernedal, Project Director of EVEF. The event also gathered delegates from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, international organizations, universities, businesses, domestic and foreign investors, and experts in the energy field.
At the workshop, the authors of the Handbook introduced the structure and main contents of the Handbook, as well as the data collection process to complete this document. The main audience of the Handbook are investors, contractors, and owners of solar power plants, who can use the Handbook as a reference when approaching or implementing ground-mounted solar power projects. In particular, the Handbook focuses on the technical and operational risks of ground-mounted solar PV projects, highlighting important issues that are frequently observed and monitored in projects in Viet Nam and worldwide, thereby helping stakeholders avoid costly risks that may arise in future projects and improve the performance of the operating assets.
Also present at the workshop were representatives of Vu Phong Energy Group, who shared practical experience on some of the risks related to equipment and foundation corrosion together with other experience on risk management. Additionally, the delegates participated in discussion sessions on technical and operational risk management processes; some practical experiences in Vietnam about risks in the solar power sector, and recommendations and solutions from stakeholders to minimize these risks.
At the workshop, Mr. Koen Duchateau, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Viet Nam noted: “I believe this handbook was compiled at the right time, as risk management is becoming increasingly important in enhancing investor confidence by ensuring profitability, controlling costs and creating better growth conditions. GIZ’s energy experts and project officers have compiled a lot of specialized knowledge relating to solar power from European countries to produce this handbook. The European Union, including its Member States, remains committed to accompanying the Vietnamese government in sustainable energy transition.”
Mr. Sven Ernedal, Project Director of EVEF, shared: “With many years of cooperation with MOIT, we believe that the Government of Viet Nam has been very successful in supporting renewable energy to thrive in the past 4 years with more than 8GW of ground-mounted solar power. But along with the development, there are still many risks; therefore, GIZ and the EVEF project want to approach this issue and publish a handbook to improve the quality of the development, construction, and operation management of solar power projects. With greater cooperation with central and local departments, GIZ will continue to actively support Viet Nam in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Over the past years, the Government of Viet Nam has strived to utilize the great potential for renewable energy (RE) in the country to meet future energy challenges. Numerous important legislation and policies have been introduced, such as RE targets in Resolution 55 on Viet Nam’s strategic orientations for energy development to 2030, with the vision to 2045, feed-in-tariffs for wind and solar power, and other non-tariff incentives, such as tax exemptions and support to access to preferential loans, etc.
These developments constitute a great success in the development of renewable energy in Vietnam and contribute to the national energy transition towards a more sustainable energy system. However, this also creates many challenges, especially at the project level, such as the lack of a seasoned workforce with specialized knowledge in the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of the solar power plants; lack of quality control and management mechanisms, which increases the risk of errors or technical problems during operation. Therefore, risk management is an activity that needs to be identified in time and invested early to minimize consequences and increase cost effectiveness.
The ‘Handbook for managing technical and operational risks of ground-mounted solar PV projects in Viet Nam’ was compiled by GIZ in collaboration with domestic and international consultants within the framework of the EVEF project. The Handbook is aimed at providing the theoretical foundations for establishing risk management strategies at the project level, as well as synthesizing practical experience and recommendations to mitigate risks for ground-mounted solar power projects that are being and will be developed and operated in Vietnam.