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Hydropower in Vietnam


The climate protection project Hydropower is a UN project within the Clean Development Mechanism. The project activity includes the construction and operation of a hydropower plant, which is located at the created reservoir in the DakrLap district in the central highlands of Vietnam. 

Over the past decade, Vietnam has become one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia. This has also increased the demand for electricity throughout the country. For this reason, the country needs to install new plants to meet the energy demand. As Vietnam is vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, the need for sustainable energy facilities has increased.  

The hydropower plant has two cascades along the Dong Nai River with a total capacity of 144 MW and produces 636,900 MWh of electricity per year. Since the project uses a dam for hydropower generation, the power plant produces electricity all year round and is not dependent on weather conditions. The upper dam has a dammed area of 11.08 km² and the lower dam has an area of 0.166 km². The energy intensity is 12.8 W/m². The generated electricity is transmitted from the lower power plant to the upper power plant via a 4.668 km transmission line, and from the upper plant to the DakNong substation via a 3.269 km single line. From there, clean power is fed into the local power grid.                   

The project began in June 2007 and was commissioned in mid-2011. Since hydropower is generated without burning fossil fuels, it is considered emission-free. The amount of emissions saved by a hydropower project is calculated using the baseline method: How much CO₂ would be released if the same amount of energy were generated using standard power generation methods for the region? The project therefore reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 363,438 tons of CO₂ annually by generating electricity from a renewable energy source, replacing electricity generated largely from fossil fuels in Vietnam. In addition to substituting fossil-generated energy with the use of renewable energy sources, this project contributes to sustainable development:

  • Reduce local air pollution caused by thermal power plants, especially coal-fired power plants as used in Vietnam.
  • Renewable energy sources and technologies will be promoted, diversifying energy sources and securing energy supplies for Vietnam's sustainable economic growth.
  • Creation of 1,851 additional jobs during the construction phase and 124 permanent jobs during operation of the hydropower plant.


The project has been verified by the United Nations.
you can find more information about the environmental certificates.


Until recently, electricity generation in Vietnam was based on one-third coal-fired power, one-third hydropower and one-third natural gas. Currently, according to the Vietnam Electricity Annual Report 2018, the share of coal-fired power is about 38 percent, closely followed by hydropower with about 35 percent. According to the report, hydropower currently has the largest share of renewable energy sources, followed by wind and biomass. However, wind and solar power in particular have been expanded further since 2017, marking the path toward the energy transition that Vietnam is striving for. For example, no new coal-fired power plants are to be built from 2030 onwards, and by the end of the 2040s there will be no coal-fired power at all.

Climate solution

Small hydropower plants use the energy of free-flowing water without using a dam. This allows diesel generators to be replaced by clean electricity generation. Small turbines are placed in a free-flowing river or stream and capture the kinetic energy of the water without creating a dam. As an underwater analogue to wind turbines, their blades rotate as the water flows by, generating electricity relatively continuously. No barriers, diversions or storage are required, only limited structural support. There are no emissions.

More information about this type of air conditioning solution you can find at 


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Supported UN Sustainable Development Goals

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Want to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals? Follow this link.

Project location

The carbon offset project is located at the created reservoir in DakrLap district of Dak Nong province, near Gia Nghia city, in the central highlands of Vietnam. Here you can find the exact location.