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Vietnam's rising coal use clouds energy transition plan

Activists call for closer monitoring of progress toward net-zero goals

Power-generating windmill turbines in Vietnam. The country hopes to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.   © Reuters

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Coal use in Vietnam is expected to rise for the foreseeable future, increasing the country's electric power capacity but clouding its long-term energy transition plans.

By 2050, Vietnam hopes to ditch coal and hit net-zero emissions, but its energy plan also raises coal-based electricity capacity to 30,000 megawatts by 2030. This would decrease coal's ratio in the power mix but still result in an increase in absolute capacity from 2020, when coal-fired output was closer to 20,000 MW, according to the U.S. International Trade Administration.

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