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We have delivered an assessment to identify challenges to Vietnam’s energy transition to net-zero emissions. The title is Diagnostic Study on Net-Zero for The Energy Sector in Vietnam. We looked at technical, social, and policy challenges and developed a practical roadmap to address them. 

The assessment was based on scenarios generated by an updated and expanded version of the energy systems model, the TIMES-Vietnam. 

The objective of the assessment was to formulate key recommendations for the technological transformation of the energy sector and the policies to achieve net-zero emissions in Vietnam’s energy sector by 2050. Also, the study aims to explore possible outlooks and to suggest milestones, to bring knowledge into the decision-making process.



E4SMA has assisted Vietnamese authorities with developing the energy modelling framework used for the Energy Outlook Reports for several years. Optimization models such as the TIMES-Vietnam are now independently used in national energy planning.

In this project, we are collaborating with the Department of Oil, Gas, and Coal of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to develop and analyze comprehensive long-term energy scenarios. The analyses of the scenarios will guide decision-makers and energy and power planners on how to achieve net-zero emissions for the energy sector while prioritizing people’s well-being. 

The project is a part of the South Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP) program led by UNOPS. ETP is a multi-donor partnership formed by governmental and philanthropic partners to accelerate sustainable energy transition in Southeast Asia in line with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. 

The project aligns with the most recent plans and policies of Vietnam. Among them are the National Energy Master Plan and the National Strategy for Climate Change to 2050, both targeting net-zero emissions by 2050. Correspondingly, it also aligns with the country’s commitments to the Paris Agreement. 


Collaborative approach 

Scaling up policy dialogue and strategic engagement on net-zero energy transition has been key to addressing the challenges of reaching this target. We have adopted a collaborative approach aimed at ensuring the high quality of data and assumptions used in the analyses. This approach also allowed us to test the relevance of the transformation of the energy sector that was proposed to reach the target. 

The formulation of the net-zero emissions scenario was thus the result of an elaborate consultation process with ETP and local stakeholders. Correspondingly, the definition of the sensitivity cases and the overall findings were identified and developed through consultations. 

Consequently, we engaged stakeholders to reach a consensus on the pathways. During a series of workshops discussing the pathways, we highlighted 

  1. Likely technological developments. 
  2. Impacts of policies to implement the identified cost-effective low-carbon mitigation options. 
  3. Total costs and financing needed to achieve the low-carbon targets. 

The consulted parties included the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Vietnam Electricity, Power Generation Corporation 2, Vinacomin Power, Danish Energy Agency, French Development Agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the World Wide Fund for Nature, and the World Bank. 



We have used the energy systems model TIMES-Vietnam. It was chosen because the TIMES modelling platform is extremely flexible. It has a solid international reputation and an advanced model management system. Also, E4SMA has contributed to the development of TIMES-Vietnam.

The TIMES-Vietnam covers all parts of the energy system, from primary energy resources to power plants and other fuel processing plants, ultimately to various demands in all five demand sectors: Agriculture, commercial, industry, residential, and transportation. The model has been updated, improved, and fine-tuned for the project. 


| Country: Vietnam   

| Client: Department of Oil, Gas, and Coal, Ministry of Industry and Trade 

| Donor:UNOPS / The Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP) 

| Subcontractors: Energy Modelling Lab and VietStar Training & CONSULTING JSC   

| Contact person:Maurizio Gargiulo   

| Activities: Model developments and stakeholder engagement   

| Duration: 2023 


Graphic credits: Freepik 


Vietnam Map design with flag and light background vector