Rolling blackouts this hot summer are driving a wedge between citizens and export manufacturers that get priority for electricity. Demand is up 10% per year, but new power plants have yet to come online and droughts have left hydroelectric dams below capacity.
Rural residents are enduring temperatures above 95 degrees without electric fans while provincial governments give priority to export industries, hospitals, schools, broadcasters and manufacturers. Smaller businesses located outside high-priority industrial zones say power cuts have hit them hard.
By 2015, Vietnam plans to quadruple its coal-fired generating capacity, and by 2020 the country plans to have 1,000 megawatt of wind turbines and a Russian-built nuclear power plant.
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