Vietnam's hydropower policy reform

For over two decades, Vietnam has rapidly built many hydropower plants around the Midlands of Northern Mountains, Central - Highlands and the Southeast of Vietnam. By 2010 the total installed capacity of hydropower projects across the country grew to over 9,200 MW, accounting for 44.66% of the total national electricity production. Although they represent a significant contribution to the national energy grid, hydropower projects are gradually revealing their negative consequences on the environment and society. The economic efficiency of electricity production is significantly reduced if you factor in the losses related to the loss of forests, decline of alluvium, shrinking of fish stocks, cause of seismism, and incidents such as flash flood release, change in river flow, volatility increase due to migration, resettlement and assurance of sustainable livelihoods for communities. Due to the reaction of the public, the press as well as critical opinions of scientists, social civil organizations and concerns of local authorities, the government of Vietnam has made some reforms related to hydropower policy, implementing several reviews and making a total assessment of hydropower development planning. In both 2012 and 2013, the government decided to cancel more than 400 hydropower projects across the country; a number of other hydropower projects were suspended or required to adjust in scale. Cascades of hydropower project already in operation were required to establish reservoir operating procedures in flood and dry seasons. The need for improved community consultation regarding hydropower operations and development policies discussed. The assessment of domestic hydropower risks also related to the concerns of hydropower dam construction plans on the mainstream of the Mekong River in upstream countries, whose transboundary impacts would severely impact the Mekong Delta, the largest and the most important agriculture and aquaculture production areas of Vietnam. With the policy reform changes that took place over hydropower development, investment programs for renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar power, and bio-electricity were promoted. Additionally, campaigns for power saving in daily activities and production activities were also encouraged. This study focuses on reviewing the issues of hydropower development in Vietnam and the activities approaching policies to prevent concerning hydropower investment. It also records actual risks in the operation of constructed works, as well as summarizes policies and legal documents issued by the government of Vietnam in the last five years (2009 - 2014) relating to the planning and implementation of hydropower projects. The study makes reference to reports by scientists, civil society organizations, as well as press commentaries about the impacts of hydropower projects inside and outside the country. It also draws some practical lessons learned in Vietnam in canvassing the hydropower restriction policies. Those lessons are not only necessary for the investment decisions over hydropower projects in the future, but they also provide important lessons and examples for other countries to consider.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Dataset topic category
  • Energy
  • Environment and natural resources policy and administration
  • Legal and judicial reform NGOs
  • English
  • Vietnamese
Dataset reference date March 30, 2015
  • Viet Nam
Process Step Free
Lineage Le Anh Tuan (2015). Vietnam's Hydropower Policy Reform. International Rivers.
License Creative Commons Attribution
Copyright To be determined
Version Dateset version 1.0
  • Dak Lak
  • Dong Nai
  • Ha Noi
  • Hoa Binh
  • Quang Nam
Keywords cải cách chính sách,đập,tác động và rủi ro,các vấn đề xã hội - môi trường,policy reform,dam,impact and risk,environment and society issue
Date uploaded December 30, 2017, 07:12 (UTC)
Date modified November 22, 2019, 08:26 (UTC)