SkyX Solar’s ambition to innovate with solar power offerings

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Vietnam is aiming for a transition to renewable energy and a drive towards energy efficiency. SAMRESH KUMAR, chairman and CEO of rooftop solar and distributed energy solutions provider SkyX Solar, told NGUYEN THU how it can help Vietnam go greener.

SAMRESH KUMAR, Chairman and CEO of rooftop solar and distributed energy solutions provider SkyX Solar

Solar rooftop projects are on the rise in Vietnam. What are the main criteria that clients, especially small-scale ones, use to select energy solutions providers and partners?
Commercial and industrial companies typically consider several key criteria when selecting rooftop solar developers in Vietnam to ensure the success of projects and a return on investment.
These criteria include a strong project execution track record in renewable energy, particularly solar rooftop projects; demonstrated financial strength and stability; and competitive discount rates and commercial terms that foster mutually beneficial partnerships.
They also involve local regulatory and incentive knowledge, unwavering commitment to safety and environmental compliance, and robust maintenance policies.

How is your performance in Vietnam thus far in leveraging the Vietnamese renewables market?

Currently, Vietnam faces a critical issue of severe power shortages, which are already affecting the manufacturing activities of factories and other commercial businesses. These shortages are expected to persist for years, prompting businesses and industries to seek solutions.

Additionally, multinational corporations are mandated to report annual emissions to their shareholders, creating pressure for factories and suppliers to transition to renewable energy sources. The increasing demand for cleaner energy sources to meet carbon reduction goals underscores the significance of SkyX Solar’s work.

SkyX Solar is a provider of rooftop solar and distributed energy solutions for commercial and industrial clients in Vietnam. The company is jointly owned by two major groups: VinaCapital, an investment group with a diversified portfolio of $4 billion in assets under management, and EDF Renewables, a European renewables giant with a total installed capacity of 13.8GW worldwide.

Together with VinaCapital and EDF Renewables, both of which have multiple wind farms under development, we are dedicated to assisting companies in achieving the objectives of 100 per cent renewable energy consumption and a net-zero status.

This is achieved by offering a range of solutions, including direct power purchase agreements (DPPAs) whenever regulations permit, battery energy storage systems, and renewable energy certificates.

Thus far, SkyX Solar has successfully raised over $100 million for investment in solar power assets and currently operates more than 100MW of rooftop solar projects across 40 sites in Vietnam. Our clients include renowned names such as Mondelez, An Phat, Nike, New Balance, Tan A Dai Thanh Group, and Minh Phu Group.

We are at the forefront of revolutionising the energy landscape, offering clients zero-hassle, zero-capex, and zero-opex energy solutions. Within SkyX Solar’s rooftop solar systems, clients not only save millions of dollars on their electricity bills, but also make a significant contribution to reducing their carbon footprint.

What makes you different from other competitors, and what are SkyX Solar’s ambitions for the next five years?

We rank among the top three rooftop solar power companies in the Vietnamese market, offering a unique value proposition that combines the knowledge and expertise of international players with the strengths of local partners.

There are several key factors that set SkyX Solar apart from its competitors. It uses its own balance sheet to invest, which allows for fast deployment, and it boasts attractive commercial offers with contracts that foster mutually beneficial partnerships with clients.

We have innovative design capabilities, allowing us to develop efficient and effective solar solutions tailored to various types of roofs. In addition, human resources play a significant role in project development, with the technical team comprising highly skilled professionals who possess international experience, local expertise, and stay updated on industry developments

Sky X also has a locally based leadership and execution team, meaning agile and quick deployment; uncompromising commitment to health and safety practices and adhering to global standards; and it understands the local regulatory environment, grid connection processes, and the availability of incentives and subsidies in Vietnam.

In one year, we have established a robust pipeline of over 200MWp and continue to develop, positioning itself on the path to becoming a market leader. Over the next five years, we aim to be the renewable energy partner of choice for top commercial and industrial companies in Vietnam.

Vietnam aims for 50 per cent rooftop solar adoption in offices and residential buildings by 2030. How can the nation realise this target, and what suggestions do you have for the government?

While there are numerous economic and non-economic benefits associated with rooftop solar, achieving this goal presents several challenges. One of the significant barriers is the need for a clear and stable nationwide guideline to determine whether a construction permit is required for rooftop solar power installations.

Additionally, the requirement for obtaining firefighting certificates has been experiencing delays in many provinces. The current lack of standardisation and clarity in permitting applications has become a bottleneck, hindering the progress of numerous projects.

Recognising this challenge, the government has taken steps to expedite licensing applications and standardise the process across different provinces.

Apart from streamlining the permitting process, it is essential for the government to continue providing financial incentives, such as tax benefits and subsidies, for the development of rooftop solar power on schools, hospitals, offices, and residential buildings.

Improving net metering policies to ensure fair compensation for surplus solar energy fed back into the grid is also important. Furthermore, public awareness campaigns can help educate citizens and businesses about the benefits of rooftop solar.

Vietnam is considering the efficiency of buying solar power directly from production units through a DPPA. What does this mean for driving Vietnam’s energy transition forward?

Vietnam is in the final stages of launching its own initiative to rapidly implement the first phase of DPPA. Significant off-takers in Vietnam are eager to transition to a fully green energy supply produced within the country.

The DPPA mechanism is a cornerstone of Vietnam’s energy transition strategy, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This approach is poised to have several positive impacts, driving Vietnam’s energy transition by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels while promoting solar and other renewable energy sources.

This shift aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and mitigate environmental impacts. The integration of solar power into the energy mix diversifies the sources of electricity generation, enhancing energy security by reducing the country’s vulnerability to supply disruptions in fossil fuel markets.

DPPAs offer corporate consumers the opportunity to access clean and sustainable energy. This aligns with businesses’ environmental and sustainability goals, providing a competitive advantage and enhancing their corporate image.

SkyX Solar – Make Earth Green Again

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