Vietnam Cut Public Lighting in Several Cities amid Power Shortages

The government of Vietnam warned on Thursday that heatwaves have now caused power shortages in several cities, forcing local authorities to limit the number of hours during which public lighting can be used.

On May 25, the Ministry of Industry and Trade made a statement saying that officials in numerous provinces have implemented energy-saving measures to provide stable electricity to households and manufacturing facilities.

According to the statement, public lighting in capital Hanoi is being turned on 30 minutes later and off 30 minutes earlier than usual, and half of the street lights along some main thoroughfares and in public parks have been entirely cut.

As of mid-May, after a 2-year delay, the Vietnamese government finally approved the master power plan: the Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8), marking the beginning of the country’s energy transition from coal to clean energy.

Vietnam is one of the top 20 coal consumers in the world. Currently, the country generates around half of its electricity from coal, according to Climate Home News.

Earlier this month, Vietnam’s state utility EVN issued a warning about the stress on the national power grid due to expected increases in electricity usage due to heatwaves and lower-than-average water levels at several hydropower dams.

The ministry said the measure is to save energy for domestic consumption and industry output, which is crucial for the economy, which has recently shown indications of slowdown.