• Solar power group backs Obama’s APEC challenge

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    THE Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) supports the call of US President Barack Obama for member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to prioritize investing in renewable energy (RE).

    PSPA President Tetchie Capellan said APEC member economies should share their installation targets for RE.

    “We call on all of them to share their installation targets for RE and the generation mix they support, including the policy instruments they would implement to achieve their targets,” Capellan said in a text message to reporters.

    Capellan pointed out that each country has their own policy instruments that work for them.

    In the case of the Philippines, she said businessmen in the country have already prioritized the development of RE.

    “So far, investors have risked investments in RE which, in my estimate, will reach 700 megawatts (MW) for solar and 300MW for wind by 2016,” she said.

    She said the Philippine government has been successful in encouraging businessmen to invest in RE through the implementation of the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) scheme.

    The FIT incentive is in line with the implementation of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (R.A. 9513) which seeks to spur the development of renewable energy resources in the country.

    Under the said law, emerging RE generation projects will get non-fiscal incentives such as the FIT scheme, which sets a fixed tariff for the different emerging RE technologies, applicable for 20 years.

    During last week’s APEC Economic Leaders’ meeting held in Manila, Obama called on APEC member countries and the private sector to push for cleaner sources of power through renewable energy.

    Obama also urged APEC member-economies to invest in climate change resilience for the next generations to come.

    He said extreme weather patterns brought about by climate change make small countries like the Philippines vulnerable.

    Capellan also said that developing solar and wind power plants is a win-win solution to the problem of climate change which affects the country.

    “We in the solar industry believe that reducing emissions by building gigawatt-size solar installations is a win-win solution for countries that are still in a growth path like the Philippines,” she added.

    She pointed out that solar and wind energy not only adds capacity to the system but also addresses the growing need for power in a sustainable way.

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