Renewable energy an option for PH off-grid areas – study

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GIVEN the current costly production of an unstable power supply, renewable energy (RE) represents an economic alternative for power supply in the country’s off-grid areas, said a study conducted by the Department of Energy (DOE) with two partners.

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This was according to a study conducted by the Department of Energy (DOE), Climate Change Commission and the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft fu¨r Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The study was conducted in San Vicente, Palawan as an example for integration of renewable energies such as hydro, solar, biomass and wind power

The Philippines has long been reliant on diesel-based electricity production, especially in off-grid areas like Palawan, the study noted.

According to the DOE, this often poor and frequently interrupted source of power costs far more than the average generation rate for on-grid electricity, which is estimated to be P5 to P6 per kilowatt-hour.

The study outlined a business model for potential energy investors and developers that seeks the improvement of Palawan’s power supply and the reduction of the overall costs of power generation with climate-friendly technologies.

It identifies the specific RE options and potentials for hybridization of Palawan’s existing power generation capacities.

It also provides a detailed technical and economic assessment for the effective use of solar and hydro power in San Vicente, based on demand forecast scenarios by the DOE and Joint Energy Development Advisory Group (JEDAG).

Besides these, the study also provides an evaluation of the different market options for RE developers and aims to serve as a springboard for stakeholder discussion on how to improve the framework conditions for RE integration in off-grid areas.

The case study will be formally presented on August 13 at Puerto Princesa, Palawan, during the Business Forum on Renewable Energy Integration in Off-Grid Areas.

The business forum aims to encourage the discussion of how renewable energies can become a reliable and economic feasible source of energy for the power supply in Palawan.

The event also intends to educate and generate interest among RE developers and potential investors, as well as identifying opportunities and obstacles for the promotion of RE in off-grid areas, and developing a common policy agenda.

The study said investments in RE “will reduce the true cost generation rate by up to 45 percent in the next 10 years compared to a diesel-only system.”

“Savings of power generation costs will amount to a total of P 360.9 million over the same period of time, and go along with a reduction of the need for subsidies from the universal charge for missionary electrification in the total amount of at least P250 million,” it added.

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