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Vietnam’s potential for renewables

Vietnam is unique among its peers around Southeast Asia with respect to its physical potential to generate renewable energy, say senior partner Vishal Agarwal and coauthors. To reach net-zero emissions by 2050, Vietnam would have to pivot the bulk of its power generation capacity to wind and solar, installing about 150 GW of wind capacity and about 70 GW of solar capacity. While this is an ambitious target for renewables, it captures only a fraction of the nation’s overall renewable-power potential.

Vietnam has natural endowments with high potential for wind and solar power.

Image description:

A map displays the solar-power and wind power potential of Vietnam. The country’s land mass is broken down into different colors and tones, with a key above each. The maps show that that the land along Vietnam’s coast is well suited to wind power solutions, and that the land mass in the south of the country is well positioned to provide power from the sun. The data displayed shows a potential for 650 gigawatts of technical wind power and 380 gigawatts of economic solar power.

Note: The boundaries and names shown on maps do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by McKinsey & Company.

Footnote 1: Specific yield of photovoltaic power output.

Source: Global Solar Atlas 2.0; Global Wind Atlas; Institute for Sustainable Futures; Vietnam energy outlook report 2019, Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority and Danish Energy Agency, 2019

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To read the article, see “Charting a path for Vietnam to achieve its net-zero goals,” October 14, 2022.