Vietnam Was Likely the Third Solar Industry Due to Rooftop Solar Booming in 2020

Vietnam attracted a lot of attention as an emerging solar industry when it became one of the top 10 solar industries in 2019, with over 3.1 GW in solar installations annually. In 2019, Vietnam’s annual added solar capacity by June was a whopping 4.5 GW, accounting for more than 60% of the total commissioned PV capacity by Vietnam in 2020, which was equivalent to the total solar installation in that year in Australia

The main driver for this skyrocketing increase in solar installation were due to the generous feed-in tariff (FiT) subsidies installers received. It is also important to note that the country has set a plan to add 13.5 GW solar capacity with support from the World Bank. But there is more to Vietnam’s solar fairytale journey. The country was also taking steps in this way in 2020.

Vietnam’s rooftop solar capacity reached 378MW in 2019 and witnessed a drastic increase of more than 25times in 2020 as compared to the previous year. In other words, installing 9.2 GW rooftop solar capacity just in 2020 or adding 102,000 new solar powered homes to the solar industry. Surprisingly, 6 GW of this rooftop solar capacity was installed in December and 4.6 GW was mounted only in the last week of 2020. 

This is due to the FIT2 policy which pays USD 0.0838 per kWh for 20 years for solar powered homes with a commercial operation date of 31 December 2020. There are two key points to observe FiT. First, the highest preference of FiT among floating solar, ground-mounted, and rooftop solar projects was allotted to rooftop solar projects. The other is that these FiT schemes were issued lately, in the early days of April, and were implemented for a short time, until the end of December. 

This rise in rooftop solar, generally solar capacity is sometimes billed as Vietnam was the third solar industry based on its annual added solar capacity in 2020. But the confirmation of this claim needs more time and it will become true when other authentic research data centers confirm it. 

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