Friday, February 1, 2013

Renewable Energy Potential of the Philippines

Environment watchdog Greenpeace Southeast Asia's new report raised urgency for increasingly tapping renewable energy (RE) nationwide, noting this can generate for the Philippines not only green jobs but also potential annual savings exceeding US$ 200 million.

Launched Wednesday in Metro Manila, the report 'Green is Gold' said available renewables in the country and potential savings from utilizing these to displace imported fuel are biomass (US$ 6.9 million), hydropower (US$ 65.9 million), solar (US$ 8.5 million) and wind energy (US$ 29.5 ) as well as from OTEC or ocean thermal energy conversion (US$ 5.2 million).

Projections for geothermal energy over the next 10 years also show this renewable can help the country realize foreign exchange savings of about US$ 588.4 million, the report continued.

"The Philippines' RE potential is about 261,000 megawatts yet this resource remains not fully tapped so we launched the report to call on government to facilitate investments in large-scale RE projects," Greenpeace Southeast Asia Exec. Dir. Von Hernandez said.

National Renewable Energy Board Chairperson Pedro Maniego backed such call, noting RE's share of total power supply already dipped from 35 percent to 26 percent even if Republic Act 9513 (RE Act of 2008) prioritizes development of renewable power sources.

He fears such share will dip further once the proposed 23 coal-fired power plants around the country begin operating.

"RE is key to sustainable development and the Philippines has abundant renewable sources so we must develop these," he said during the launch.

Aside from savings, 'Green is Gold said tapping RE can generate for government other benefits totaling over PhP1.5 billion a year.

The report noted biomass alone can generate some P460 million annually in terms of government share, real property taxes, local business taxes and ER 1-94 contributions.

Other renewables and projected annual benefits from these are hydropower (P520 million), solar (P20 million), wind (P366 million) and OTEC (P120 million).

No comments: