Wanted: renewable energy generators for off-grid areas in the Philippines. Let’s hope there will be some interest from Australian companies to invest in this area.
From BusinessWorld Philippines
November 18, 2012
Napocor to team up with PNOC-RC to develop off-grid areas
STATE-OWNED National Power Corp. (Napocor) is set to sign an agreement with Philippine National Oil Co.-Renewables Corp. (PNOC-RC) by yearend for the development of off-grid areas in the country, an official said yesterday.
“We will sign a memorandum of understanding explore possible adaptation of renewable energy (RE) technologies in the off-grid areas. Hopefully sometime in December this year, “Napocor President Froilan A. Tampinco said in a text message.
Mr. Tampinco added that the cooperation with PNOC-RC will target mainly the first wave areas opened to private sector participation.
The first wave areas are Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Mainland Palawan, Catanduanes, Bantayan Island, Masbate, Tablas Island, Camotes Island, Romblon, Siquijor, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Sulu.
“The basic principle we are following here is for any RE technology that will enter into the off-grid island area, this should translate into a cost of generation that will ultimately reduce the existing subsidies,” Mr. Tampinco said.
Napocor will also explore possible partnerships with private entities for the development of the identified off-grid areas.
Mr. Tampinco said these entities will come up with the needed technology and equity while Napocor will come up with the markets and the documentary requirements to make the investment viable.
However, Mr. Tampinco said that there are no new investors yet in the areas, because investors are looking for prospects in Napocor’s major power grids before considering to invest in the off-grid areas.
“The opportunity is much more [in the major grids] than that of in the off-grid, so that’s understandable because the return of investment is much more realizable if they involve themselves in the major grids,” he said.
“But hopefully [private investors] will still consider investing in the off-grid areas because there’s a social component involved there, not only in the delivery service but in consequential community development aspect,” Mr. Tampinco further said.
Off-grid areas are those not connected to the major national transmission grids of electricity due to lack of connection facilities and location challenges. — Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano