VESTAS Wind Systems A/S, said to be the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, is bullish on the Philippines’ renewable energy potential, particularly in wind power, to meet the country’s demand for clean energy.
“The Philippines has some of the most abundant wind resources in Southeast Asia. And modern wind energy technology is able to generate more power, at a lower cost than ever before. This creates a real opportunity for the country to meet part of its growing electricity needs using competitive, independent, and clean wind energy,” Vestas Asia Pacific President Clive Turton said on Thursday.
Vestas is a globally renowned energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy. Its core business focuses on the development, manufacture, sale and maintenance of wind power plants – with competencies that cover every aspect of the value chain from site studies to service and maintenance.
Wind energy also creates local skilled jobs. Vestas employs over 400 people in the Philippines through Vestas Services Philippines and Vestas Shared Service.
Vestas has delivered and is servicing 183 megawatts (MW) of wind power in the country, including the Burgos wind power plant in Ilocos Norte, one of the largest wind energy projects in Southeast Asia
“However, we are concerned about the near-term outlook for wind in the country. Since the FiT2 [Feed-in Tariff round 2] came to an end, and until other policies come into effect, there is no operational wind regulatory framework. As a result, wind development has come to a near halt while conventional fossil fuel generation continues to grow significantly,” Turton said.
Feed-In Tariff is a policy mechanism that promotes the rapid deployment of RE by offering developers a guaranteed rate for the electricity they produce. FITs have been the main drivers of RE additional capacity in the Philippines to date.
First introduced in 2012, the Wind FIT initially guaranteed a rate of P8.53 and P9.68 for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced by a qualified wind and solar farm, respectively. This was subsequently revised downwards in FIT round 2, to P7.4/kWh for wind and P8.69/kwh for solar, to reflect technology improvements and cost reductions. Overall, 400MW of wind and 526MW of solar projects have been developed under the FiT mechanism.
“A wind energy pipeline of several hundreds of megawatts stands to be unlocked with a clear policy in place.
Vestas is committed to help write the next chapter of wind energy deployment in the Philippines, and work with all government and private sector partners to that effect,” he said.
According to the Department of Energy (DoE), the RE potential of the Philippines exceeds 200 gigawatts (GW). This includes geothermal, hydropower, wind, solar, ocean and biomass.
In June 2015, the DOE issued a department circular mandating at least a 30 percent share of RE in the power generation capacity.
In 2016, 24 percent of all power generated in the Philippines came from RE. Close to 90 percent of the 21,979 GWh of RE power produced came from geothermal and hydro, the remainder being biomass, wind and solar.
Last year, installed RE power capacity amounted to 6,959 MW, representing 32 percent of the country’s total power capacity of 21,424 MW.