Energy planning should pay attention to nuclear power

VCN - The National Energy Master Plan for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, is being written by the Institute of Energy (Ministry of Industry and Trade). Many suggest that to build this plan closely to reality, it is necessary to learn from serious experiences in implementing previous plans. At the same time, the highlight is that in the new plan, the restart of nuclear power should be considered.
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Many energy experts consider the need to consider a future nuclear restart. Source: Internet.

Looking back to the past to build the future

The national energy master plan is expected to include 14 chapters. Up to now, this plan has completed the first five chapters, including: Current state of national energy; the implementation of the planning of energy sub-sectors; socio-economic development situation and forecast; current energy use and energy saving potential; and potential, exploitation, supply and production development orientation of energy sub-sectors.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An said that the planning this time has a relatively different context from previous planning. The energy master plan has new requirements to solve the problems of harmonious development of energy sub-sectors in the economy, offering a more dynamic and open plan, creating favourable conditions for State management in the energy sector.

The overall assessment of energy development, socio-economic development forecast and energy demand, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hung, Institute of Energy (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said the current status of coal and oil products have a high proportion in total primary energy supply. Dependence on imported energy has increased sharply in recent years due to a sharp decrease in export volume and a sharp increase in coal imports. In addition, renewable energy in electricity generation has made strong progress recently due to policy support andgreenhouse gas emissions in energy activities are increasing dramatically. For final energy consumption there is a drastic shift from other fuels to electricity. Industry and transportation are the two industries that account for the top share of consumption.

It is forecast that the annual GDP growth rate will be approximately 7% in 2021-2030, down to approximately 6% in 2031-2040 and approximately 5% in 2041-2050. On that basis, the forecast given in the Energy Master Plan is the rate of increase in final energy demand increases by an average of 6.6% annually in 2021-2030 and decreases to 3.3% over 2031-2050.

According to Do Hong Nguyen, Head of Department of Information Technology and Development Strategy, Vietnam Coal-Minerals Industry Group (TKV), to develop a new plan, it is necessary to first review why in the previous plan, the goals were not reached. In the assessment of the current situation, it is necessary to assess the objective and subjective causes. The objective for the planning implementation unit is the policy mechanism and external factors. For example, with the mining industry, objectivity is anatural factor. Maybe when reporting geology with coal, but when exploiting and re-exploiting, there is no coal, it is necessary to examine more closely why the targets have not been met somewhere elsewhere.

This position also emphasised the priority order in implementing the plans. Nguyen cited, over the past time, coal, electricity, oil and gas projects have not been implemented as planned. The reason is related to State management. The latest Planning Law took effect from January 1, 2019.

"Before there were too many plans, now there are new plans, how are the plans interoperable, the order of priority, and the effectiveness of the plans? Energy is the security issue, what is the priority in implementing the plans?" Nguyen asked.

Should put the issue of nuclear power development

The national energy master plan develops the plan for infrastructure planning for four main sub-sectors, including: coal sub-sector, petroleum sub-sector, electricity sub-sector and the renewable energy sub-sector. In the content of the completed first five chapters of this plan, the presence of nuclear power is completely excluded.

Tran XuanHoa, Chairman of Vietnam Association of Mining Science and Technology, assessed that the new planning content mainly refers to input parameters, the following chapters still have many problems. He emphasised the plan should raise the issue of returning to nuclear power development. Nuclear power compared to other types of electricity is still very safe. Vietnam is close to China, China has built dozens of nuclear power plants, three of which are right near the border of Vietnam. Safety concerns are the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and research institutes must have research and arguments.

“Just now, I regret that we have to stop nuclear power when we have invested in it trillions of dong. At the High-Level Forum on Energy recently held by the Central Economic Committee, many scientists also mentioned that it is necessary to return to nuclear power, but in this plan, there is no mention of that issue,”Hoa said.

Talking to Customs Newspaper, Dr. Nguyen ManhHien, former Director of the Institute of Energy analysed that after 2030, Vietnam will have a serious energy shortage. Meanwhile, coal will have to be imported. Hydropower has also been fully exploited. Gas is also about to have to import liquefied gas. If Vietnam continues to not develop nuclear power, Vietnam will have to import a lot of liquefied gas and coal. That means energy security will be greatly limited. To ensure national energy security and contribute to the fight against global climate change, which means reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is advisable to keep nuclear power development sites in NinhThuan province, after 2030 to continue to grow.

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On why should it be waiting until 2030 to restart nuclear power development, Nguyen ManhHien analysed: "Vietnam is expected to start short of electricity in 2022-2023. Building a nuclear power plant takes about 6-7 years. If at present, immediately restart projects. The project is not in time to make up until 2022-2023 to compensate for the shortage of electricity. That is not to mention the fact that, if you consider the development of nuclear power immediately, there is no capital.”

By Thanh Nguyen/ HuuTuc

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