Let’s hope with additional ADB support to do market and technical assistance to promote wind and solar energy in the country, we can finally add more than the giant windmills in Ilocos Norte as the country’s investments in wind energy or the many solar panels on the roof of the ADB head office.
June 07, 2012
Energy department eyes more renewable energy investments
THE ENERGY department has tapped the assistance of experts to assess the renewable resources available in certain areas of the country as it plans to auction more areas to renewable energy investors, an official told reporters in an interview yesterday.
“The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has volunteered to provide the Energy department with technical assistance for a wind resource assessment,” said Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug, Jr. in an interview at the sidelines of the ADB Clean Energy Forum.
“We are also in discussions with the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) on how it can further help the government in resource assessments and we mentioned that one of those areas is biomass.”
He added the government is now in discussions with the Philippine Solar Power Alliance to seek suggestions for technical assistance for solar power studies.
The studies are expected to produce resource data the Energy department can use in bidding out areas for renewable energy service contracts.
The department earlier used a mini-hydro resource assessment study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a basis to bid out 40 to 50 mini-hydro areas in Luzon and the Visayas in the third quarter of the year.
Mr. Layug said the department is currently meeting with wind stakeholders to ascertain what other types of data they seek from ADB’s technical study.
The study will take two years — the normal length of time for a wind resource study.
ADB’s technical assistance will not only be limited to the Philippines and will also benefit three other countries.
Mr. Layug said he cannot say if the ADB study will cover the whole country because “wind masts to measure wind resources cost around $100,000 so probably they will only look at key areas.”
The USAID study may look into potential agricultural and municipal waste volume to check viable sites for biomass plants.
The government’s plan to bid out renewable energy areas however does not mean it will do away with its current service contract scheme. — Emilia Narni J. David