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By  Scott Walker Sarah-Jane Stevenson 4 March 2024 3 min read

Key points

  • Vietnam has a rapidly growing supply of renewable power generation, including solar, wind, and hydropower.
  • Our research supports governments, industries, and communities in their transition to renewable and low-emissions energy alternatives.
  • Partnerships open access to critical global energy expertise and experience as countries pursue their respective paths to net zero emissions by 2050.

Australia is experiencing one of the fastest power system transformations on the planet, providing a window to the future of energy. We are sharing our experience with other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and globally. We're working with countries, like Vietnam, to understand and help ramp up transitions to cleaner energy systems and achieve net zero targets.

Our Energy Strategy Leader Chris Dunstan said Vietnam has a rapidly growing supply of renewable power generation, including wind, solar and hydropower.

“These developing resources hold the promise of a sustainable future,” Chris said.

We are committed to supporting Vietnam's energy transition, which stands as a cornerstone of our partnership in the country. This commitment was underscored during a recent workshop and follows a presentation by CSIRO’s Science Counsellor for Vietnam, Kim Wimbush, at the ASEAN-Australia High-Level Dialogue on Climate and Energy Transition in Hanoi in September last year.

Unlocking the secret to efficient and safe energy storage with the Revolutionary Energy Storage Systems Future Science Platform.
Unlocking the secret to efficient and safe energy storage. ©  Nick Pitsas

Workshopping the energy future

Chris, along with local and global experts, held a regional workshop in Hanoi ahead of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March (the Summit).

The workshop, Accelerating Transitions to Advanced Low Emission Power Systems, focussed on the decarbonisation of Vietnam’s electricity systems to provide consumers with a secure, reliable, and affordable supply of clean energy.

We co-organised the workshop with the Australian Government’s Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I) initiative. Seven researchers from the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium and about 40 Vietnamese experts explored the challenges, opportunities, and priorities for Vietnam to increase the levels of renewable generated electricity. These include grid organisation, distribution networks, inverter-based resources, and system operations.

P4I supports 28 partner agencies across ASEAN with technical assistance to help them address their substantial infrastructure investment needs. P4I is supporting us to share Australia’s energy transition expertise in support of Southeast Asia’s energy transition through a wide range of initiatives.

"We’re exchanging learnings from Australia, insights from G-PST experts, and deepening our understanding of Vietnam’s net zero carbon emissions target by 2050," Chris said.

"In partnership with Vietnamese colleagues, we are excited to share knowledge and experience on how grid infrastructure, regulatory frameworks and community engagement can facilitate a faster transition to renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction."

Vietnam on the road to zero 

The workshop is part of a range of research connections we shares with Vietnam, including the Future of Electricity Vietnam project. The project establishes a science-to-policy dialogue and builds an evidence base of Australian experience to support future electricity planning and policy and research cooperation between Australia and Vietnam.

The future energy plans for Vietnam are expansive. Vietnam released its Power Development Plan VIII (known as PDP8) in May 2023. The plan aims to boost wind and gas energy and to explore investment in new technologies such as battery storage, hydrogen, and ammonia while reducing reliance on coal.

According to the World Economic Forum, the plan envisages an estimated $135 billion of funding for new power plants and grids. Its purpose was supported in December 2023, when the Group of Seven (G7) nations (backed by Denmark and Norway) pledged $15.5 billion in initial funds to support Vietnam's transition away from coal.

Participants at the clean energy workshop in Hanoi, 2024.

Global power system transformation

CSIRO co-leads, with the Australian Energy Market Operator, Australia’s Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Research Roadmap which comprises multi-year, collaborative work on pressing research topics, including inverter design, new control room technologies, and tools to ensure grid stability. The Roadmap’s Stage 3 Reports on these topics will be published this year.

Australia’s G-PST Roadmap occurs within the context of the G-PST Consortium founded in 2019 by the electricity system operators of six of the fastest decarbonising electricity systems in the world – Australia, Ireland, Great Britain, California, Texas, and Denmark. The Consortium’s work is anticipated to occur over a 10-year period.

Powering energy partnerships across ASEAN

In addition to our work in Vietnam, we have supported the ASEAN Centre for Energy to develop the ASEAN Long Term Renewable Energy Roadmap. We have also established an MoU with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) for cooperation on energy storage and clean hydrogen.

The partnership extends to practical cooperation. We hosted a workshop with Indonesia’s main electricity utility, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), focused on accelerating the uptake of renewable energy, with a similar workshop planned with Vietnam’s National Local Dispatch Centre.

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