1 February, 2020

Energy transition to renewable energies: opportunities for Australian cooperation with Viet Nam


Anna Chapman, Tania Urmee, Caitlin Shem, Ursula Fuentes

Vietnam is at a turning point. It is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, it is undergoing fast economic growth, and it recently achieved universal electrification. Vietnam has a heightening need for energy from sustainable sources to implement its Paris Agreement commitment and achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Australia has world-class solar and wind energy resources that could be harnessed and exported to assist Vietnam. This could contribute to Vietnam achieving these goals through a transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

This briefing paper assesses the opportunities for Vietnam to transition towards 100% renewable energy, and to overcome a series of challenges that the country faces. These include high energy demand, the need for energy security, and over-reliance on emissions intensive fossil fuels. Scenario analyses suggest that Vietnam could meet its Paris Agreement targets though achieving renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, but also transition to 100% renewable energy in the longer term. However, Vietnam’s laws and policies require coordination and coherence to achieve the country’s energy transition, particularly in moving away from coal-fired power generation and avoiding its future expansion.

Vietnam and Australia have developed a strong bilateral relationship; Australia has an opportunity to support Vietnam in transitioning to renewable energy.

  • Australia can explore options to assist Vietnam in meeting its energy demands through technology upgrades in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • There are also opportunities to harness and export Australia’s renewable energy resources with green hydrogen as a fuel carrier, or through a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmissions line to Asia, and through energy intensive products, to help meet Vietnam’s energy demand.