A cluster of seven wind turbines towering above shrimp ponds and banana trees in Vietnam’s Ben Tre province should have been feeding clean power into the grid by now. Instead, they’ve sat idle for months and become a symbol of the red tape that’s plaguing the development of green electricity in the country.

The stalled wind farm in the Mekong Delta region is one of around 60 delayed projects across the country. There is 3.5 gigawatts of potential energy in turbines that have either been built but are sitting idle, or are still under construction. That’s enough to power 4.4 million households in the fast-developing economy that’s become a manufacturing base for the likes of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Vietnam should be an ideal location for renewables investment. Its long coastline facing the South China Sea means it’s blessed with the best wind resource in Southeast Asia, while there’s no shortage of demand. Energy consumption is surging as living standards rise, and multinationals with factories there are keen to decarbonize.