ABB supporting the ambition of buoyant renewables development

14:00 | 04/04/2019
Vietnam is blessed with immense potential for clean renewable energy development, in which wind and solar power are considered as the key sources of energy for the future. Brian Hull, country managing director of ABB in Vietnam, discussed his belief that the country can soon realise this dream.
abb supporting the ambition of buoyant renewables development

ABB was selected as the main supplier for over 20 solar power projects (up to more than two gigawatts or GW) with diverse scales in Vietnam in 2018. Why is ABB trusted and selected by partners, and what makes ABB’s products and solutions stand out?

I think renewable energy is a new field for Vietnam. It’s necessary to find a reliable partner when you try yourself in a new field.

With ABB, renewable energy is no longer new concept. Over the years, we have deployed numerous solar power projects in regional countries like Thailand, India, and many other parts of the world. It is good for you to join a new field with the companion of reliable and experienced partners.

Moreover, we have had more than 25 years of close co-operation with electricity industry in Vietnam. In ­addition, we are a global original equipment manufacturer with manufacturing factories in Vietnam. We produce transformers in Hanoi, medium voltage switchgear and compact substations in the northern province of Bac Ninh to serve customers in over 60 countries around the world.

This builds the trust in our customers since they acknowledge the technology and equipment they are using are manufactured in Vietnam based on international standards. We understand the needs of the Vietnamese market.

Last but not least, in my opinion, investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar is not a short-term process but needs to endure for many years. We have a team of more than 50 engineers always willing to provide maintenance services to assure investors that investing in ABB, their products will operate efficiently in long term.

In the current renewable energy picture in Vietnam, there is a big gap between wind and solar power. Can you share your thoughts on this?

As far as I know, the price policy that the Vietnamese government has applied to wind power projects is less attractive to investors than one applied to solar power projects.

At the end of 2018, the government revised this policy and I think in 2019 and the following years, the investment in wind power in Vietnam will increase. However, investors always want to get the maximum profit out of the projects, hence, up to the change in policy they chose solar power projects with higher returns than wind power.

According to research ­results, the potential of wind power in Vietnam is also high. Many believe that the current problem lying in the huge investment costs of equipment and technology. What is your view?

I think Vietnam has great potential to develop wind power. In a study by the World Bank, Vietnam has the potential to develop wind power with a total capacity of up to 309GW.

ABB has provided technology for many major wind power developers in the world like Vestas. Wind turbines using our technology are available worldwide. Therefore, I think technology is not a big problem for wind power developers in Vietnam. I believe Vietnamese businesses will overcome technological challenges.

Regarding investment costs, ABB has worked with a Vietnamese startup Indefol in the field of wind power and solar power. They used our technology and learned from our experiences, and I believe they will incorporate our technology to develop local solutions in the future. This will help them solve the cost issue and be highly competitive in the market.

As a leading manufacturer and provider of renewable energy equipment, what solutions has ABB provided to contribute to the development of renewables, especially wind power in Vietnam? Do you have any recommendation to the government and Vietnamese businesses in the wind power sector?

I always love technology questions because ABB is a technology provider. And I think there are always creative solutions.

The nature of renewable energy is intermittent, which poses pressure on the national grid. ABB can provide technical solutions to solve this problem, such as battery storage and energy storage systems. Operators need a combination of control systems to monitor the status of renewable energy resources and ABB wants to offer those solutions to Vietnam.

Recently, the Vietnamese government announced higher price policy would be applied to solar power development projects using battery storage solutions. I think the government can also apply this policy to wind power projects. That will help investment in technology become more sustainable and ­effective. Another issue to be taken into consideration is that in Vietnam, there are many islands and remote areas. Microgrid is the ­solution for these areas. Wind turbines, solar power and backup power generators will provide them a reliable power ­supply.

Based on MasterCMS Ultimate Edition Ver 2.8 2018