Friday, August 24, 2012

Study says RE projects viable in Phl, Thailand

The Philippines is one of only two Southeast Asian nations where renewable energy (RE) projects are currently commercially viable.

More RE ventures are expected to bring down high electricity costs while allowing the country to hit its RE targets, Ipsos Business Consulting (IBC) Division said in a study.

“The Philippines can be considered the most developed RE market in Southeast Asia, with more than 30 percent of its power generated from renewable resources - more than any other country in the region,” IBC said.

To date, 33 percent or 5,439 megawatts (MW) of the country’s total installed capacity of 16,359 MW are sourced from green energy projects. Hydropower and geothermal projects account for 63 percent and 36 percent, respectively, of the installed capacity for RE.

IBC said that only the Philippines, through geothermal power production, and Thailand, through solar power, are commercially viable investment locations for RE projects.

“The push toward use of RE reflects the fact that electricity prices in the Philippines are the highest in Asia, which has driven away investment,” IBC said.

“RE is expected to bring costs down, which is essential for the Philippines to attain energy security and economic sustainability,” it added.

Electricity rates in the Philippines is the second most expensive in Asia, next only to Japan due to lack of generation capacity, dependence on fuel imports and the absence of government subsidies.

Under the National Renewable Energy Program, the country expects to hit 15,000 MW of RE installed capacity by 2030.

Approved service contracts and pending applications will result in potentially 7,067 MW and 3,771 MW of new capacity from green power projects, respectively.

“The Philippines has the potential to achieve its RE targets, given rising demand for energy, pressure to increase the competiveness of the country and cut the cost of electricity, and its vast stock of RE resources,” said head of Consulting Colin Kinghorn.

However, the Philippines might lose its edge given delays in policy implementation.-The Philippine Star (August 24, 2012)

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