Solar companies will push the Philippine government to quadruple the size of an incentive scheme for suppliers of the renewable energy and to speed up project approvals, as the country grapples with precarious electricity supply.
Industry group the Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) said it would propose the steps to make it easier to develop projects worth an estimated $4 billion in the pipeline from local firms such as Aboitiz Power Corp and foreign companies like Thailand’s Chow Steel Industries PCL.
Located right above the equator, the Philippines is blessed with plenty of sunlight throughout the year that could be used to help meet soaring power demand as manufacturing grows and call centre businesses boom.
But worries over the initial expense of solar projects have stymied the sector’s development with many projects still at very tentative stages, hampering the country’s efforts to shake its dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Under the government’s current incentive programme, 500 megawatts of solar capacity will be entitled to guaranteed prices for 20 years. But the PSPA wants to extend that to around 2 gigawatts.
“We will draft an industry roadmap, which we will present to the government as the basis of our proposal which is for 2 gigawatts,” said Theresa Cruz-Capellan, chief executive of SunAsia Energy Inc and president of the PSPA. The country’s solar capacity currently stands at around 110 MW.
Mario Marasigan, director of the renewable energy management division of the government’s energy department, said Manila would need time to assess the impact of more ambitious solar targets.
Originally from Reuters