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How much do solar panels cost in Vietnam in 2020?

solar panel cost vietnam cost front EN

We know solar energy prices in Vietnam continue to fall in 2020 and this brings more savings to monthly electricity bill. So how much do solar panel costs on average this year in Vietnam?

Bản dịch.
translation.

Summary:

  1. Solar cost in Vietnam in 2020: Unit cost is 17.600 đ/ Watt on average or 90.000.000 đ for 5 kW solar energy system.
  2. The return for solar investment is around 5 years. It is closing in on the 2-3 years payback period that most house owners in Vietnam expect for investment.

Solar panel system prices in 2020.

The best way to compare is to break down to cost per watt (đ/W). The average solar panel price is 17.600 đ/W and it reflects the fact that there are many more solar installers in Vietnam this year. But the cost depends on the solar panel manufacturer brand! We see that prices vary between 14.000 and 20.000 đ/Watt.

Calculate break-even period here.

Solar energy system size is important!

The bigger the solar panel installation the higher the price. No surprise. However, the unit prices are better with larger system, why? Because solar inverter cost and labour cost are very high for small solar energy systems. So, it pays off to install as much as you can. For example, the table of solar panel prices below shows that it cost as much as 28.000.000 d/ kW if you just want to install 2kW system, while the unit price go down to 16.500.000 if you install 25kW system.

Table 1: The average solar energy price listed by power size:

System SizeUnit PriceSolar panel system cost
2kW28.0M56M
3kW21.5M64M
4kW19.8M79M
5kW18.0M90M
6kW17.6M106M
7kW17.6M123M
8kW17.6M141M
10kW17.6M176M
15kW17.6M250M
25kW17.6M413M
The price are in thousands. So, 28.000 k = 28.000.000 đồng.
23.200 đồng = 1 USD

The prices include VAT, solar panels, inverter, structural mount, wires, circuit breakers, installation and startup.

Cost breakdown of solar panel energy system:

House owners can often choose different equipment brands when selecting a package. Such as solar panel brand, inverter brand, surge protection option, location and specific house fees. It therefore helps to see the cost breakdown of various parts in the following pie chart & table.

Chart 1: pv system cost breakdown for 5kW and 15kW:
solar panel cost vietnam cost breakdown 5kw
solar panel cost vietnam cost breakdown

The pie chart makes clear that a small solar energy system is labour and inverter cost driven, while a big solar installation is solar panel cost driven.

Table 2: Cost breakdown of 5kW and 15kW system.

Cost component5kW Cost15kW Cost
Total:90.000k248.000k
VAT:9.000k25.000k
Solar panels36.000k112.000k
Inverter13.000k37.000k
Wire, distribution box5.000k12.000k
labour, structural mount10.000k37.000k
overheads, project management,…18.000k25.000k
Surge protection deviceAs an optionAs an option
The price are in thousands. So, 90.000 k = 90.000.000 đồng.
23.200 đồng = 1 USD

Solar installation price varies for same 5 kW because …

The average solar installation price gives us an idea what to expect. However, solar installers provide different prices. And if you want to negotiate with solar sellers then you will need to know 2 things:

1/ Solar panel equipment model and inverter brand is important. Each producer has their own way of producing their equipment resulting in different equipment efficiencies. Higher efficient solar panel on your roof means you save more money. Also, a well-known brand is more likely to survive the market than an unknown brand. Therefore, it may be cheaper for you in the long run to invest in a slightly more expensive package.

In general, the most expensive are solar panels from United States, Korea, Japan while the most cost competitive producer brands are from China. The prices in between are solar panels with production facilities  in Malaysia and Singapore. Read here about solar panel product trend 2020.

Table 3: Cost of 5kW and 15kW system by solar panel producer.

Ghi chú:
* Giá là hàng triệu. Vậy, 90 = 90.000.000 đồng.
* 23.200 đồng = 1 USD

Nhà sản xuấthiệu quảgiá 5kWgiá 15kWxuất xứ
điểm chuẩn/ benchmark19.00%090tr250trChina
AEChina
Aslan Ningbo17.60%081tr223trChina
Astro Energy086tr237trChina
AUO095tr266tr
Axitech18.63%084tr231trChina
Canadian Solar19.91%090tr250trChina/ Vietnam
GCL20.20%090tr250trChina
Hanhwa
Heckert Solar091tr253tr
Solarbk IrexVietnam
Ja Solar086tr237trChina
Jinkosolar098tr272trChina
LG High21.40%133tr378trKorea
LG Low19.00%104tr292trKorea
Luxor18.77%084tr231trTBA
Panasonic109tr308trJapan
REC High20.90%119tr336trSingapore
REC Low18.90%090tr250trSingapore
Recom
Solar Edge104tr292tr
Solar Fabrik087tr240tr
SunPowerU.S
Suntech18.60%084tr231trChina
Trina Solar083tr228trChina
Vsun
Weamerisolar086tr239tr
Yingli Solar17.70%087tr241trChina

2/ Your specific house type matter! If you already have 10 degree south faced metal rooftop then it is fairly simple. But if your rooftop has different layers then you will need a customized solution.

Picture: solar installation picture: easy vs. difficult.
solar cost vietnam simple
solar cost vietnam simple
solar cost vietnam complex
solar cost vietnam complex

Is it cheaper to buy solar panels on Lazada and install myself?

This is quite a common question. Loose solar panel prices range between 5.000 – 10.000đ/ watt. But this has not included for inverter, mount and labour yet. So it is cheaper if you are a solar enthusiast and have time to look into the details and you can negotiate a good deal on labour and other equipment.

How much do I save from solar panel investment?

A 5kW system that cost 90.000.000đ will save you 1.200.000.000đ over 30 years. And it takes 5 years to recoup the cost. Is this a good investment?

Firstly, how do we get 1.200.000.000đ savings? A 5kW system faced south and tilted 10 degrees will save you 7.000 kWh in first year in Ho Chi Minh City. The system performance degrades 0.5-1% per year until about 6.000 kWh at year 30. The electricity price increase about 5% every year.You can expect minimum maintenance over 30 years with 1 inverter change.

solar cost vietnam savings graph

However, this is just based on typical example of 4kW system we have at our office in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (here is article of our its performance since 2017). How strong a solar energy system performs depends on location, tilt, direction, shadow, installer quality and other factors. You can find out more here with suntiki solar calculator.

In terms of VND, 1 kWh of solar energy cost you around 700 đ. However, without solar panels, you currently pay from 1.700 đ – 4.000 đ and over the years this will increase to 8.000 đ which you pay to Vietnam Electricity (EVN). Exactly how much you save depends on what electrical tariff you pay and how much you use. Here is our analysis of EVN’s latest tariffs.

Secondly, what if you save 90M đ instead? Then it would grow to 370M đ in 30 years on 5% interest rate.

So, the actual saving is 1.200/ 370 = 3.3 times the investment. This is not as good as the initial 1.200/ 90 = 13.7 times.

Holding keeping money in the pocket is safe, but investing in solar energy has benefits:

  • Higher savings in long term.
  • Increase house value.
  • We feel happy to be clean & green to environment.

Finally, is solar energy a good investment? The cost of installing is finally low in Vietnam compared to a few years ago. However, 5 years payback is still a bit long for many house owners. But the price continues to decrease because solar energy is an increasing trend to become the top energy source in the world. More people invest because it has become part of a modern house architecture and environment has become a top focus. More people adopting solar in turns drives down the price even more to make it affordable for everyone to be clean & green for the environment.

Top 3 tips for solar shopping

solar cost vietnam 3 tips

1/ The bigger solar installer company the higher the price is. Also, larger companies tend to offer older solar panel models. A recent study in the United States shows that buyers who ask for prices from different companies save 10% or more. Link of page listing all solar installers in Vietnam.

2/ The house owner should monitor the actual installation to make sure the installation is well done. Solar installers have limited experience because the industry is new in Vietnam. Here are our tips of good practice and what to avoid.

3/ In this year 2020, for the above price we should expect 72-cells mono solar panels from a well-known brand. Definitely have access to a monitoring app for great customer experience. Read more about solar panel 2020 trend.  

Calculate break-even period here.

References and our data:

If you have information about solar panel prices, we would appreciate the information in comments below.

… To see more companies with prices, please refer to the Vietnamese version of this article: https://nordicsolarenergy.com/gia-nang-luong-mat-troi-vietnam-2020-la-bao-nhieu/ ….


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