The Board of Investments (BOI) recently approved nine (9) renewable energy projects totaling Php26.7 billion. These projects qualified for incentives under the Renewable Energy Act No. 9513 which is covered under the Special Laws List of the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP).

“Production of renewable power is becoming cheaper and it is fast becoming a better alternative towards addressing power-sufficiency and cost-effectiveness in the economic development of our country, “Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said. “In other parts of the world, renewables like solar are already cheaper than fossil-fuel based power and these countries are already transitioning to a 100-percent renewable electricity. Sooner or later, we have to face this inevitability with the expectation it will bring down power costs while ensuring enough power supply for the country,” he added.

Alsons Energy Development Corp. is putting up a Php3.5 billion 15.1 megawatt (MW) hydropower plant in Sarangani with formal operations scheduled to start in August 2020 with 20 personnel on board. The Siguil Hydro Power Project as it is known, is a run-of-river type of hydro project located in Barangay Amsipit and Nomoh, in the municipality of Maasim, Sarangani Province. The system aims to capture the flow of Siguil River from Barangay Nomoh to Barangay Amsipit through a power station equipped with a turbine and generator. The water will be returned to the Siguil River and be discharged finally to Sarangani Bay.

Ecopark Energy of Valenzuela Corp. is building a Php234.5 million 4.7 MW solar plant in Valenzuela City. The company is developing a 4.7 MW Grid-Connected PV Power Generation plant to be set-up in an approximately 4.8 hectare-land located in Barangay Isla, Valenzuela City. The PV power station will be connected to the grid through MERALCO. Power will be sold to the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The plant is tapping 9 personnel when operations kick off in April 2018.

Repower Energy Development Corp. is constructing a Php1.55 billion 6.2 MW hydropower plant known as the Katipunan River Mini-hydropower plant in Bukidnon. Repower is also two additional hydropower plants, the Php1.1 billion 4.4 MW Tibag River hydroelectric power plant in Quezon province and the Php2.1 billion 10 MW Pulangui IV facility in Bukidnon. These three plants will start commercial operations simultaneously in April 2019 with 18 personnel each.

Ormoc Solar Energy Corp. is developing a PhP6.6 billion solar project in Cavite. Dubbed as the Naic Solaw Power plant, it is a 100.8 MW plant situated between Naic, Tanza and Trece Martires City. The 120-hectare plant will be connected to Meralco which is approximately 5km away from the site. Operations are on track to start on January 2019 with 26 personnel. Ormoc Solar is also constructing a Php8.25 billion 126 MW solar facility in Pagbilao, Quezon. It is scheduled to tap 22 people when operations start in July 2019.

Nuevo Solar Energy Corp. is putting up a Php1.7 billion 40.3 MW solar plant in Lumban, Laguna. Known as the Lumban Solar Power project covering 50 hectares, it will be connected to Meralco. Operations are scheduled to start on April 2019 with 15 people on board. Nuevo Solar is also putting up a Php1.7 billion 25.2 MW solar plant in Calauan, Laguna known as the Bangyas plant and operations are on track to start on July 2019 with 10 personnel manning the facility.

According to the DOE’s Renewable Energy Roadmap 2017-2040, the country expects to have at least 20,000 MW of RE installed by the year 2040.

The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) through the implementation of the RE Act promotes the development and optimal use of the country’s RE resources as essential to the country’s sustainable energy agenda. RE plays a vital cog in the country’s low emissions development strategy and also has a pivotal role in addressing the challenges of climate change, energy security, and access to energy.

As of June 2017, RE plants supplied 7,038 MW of installed capacity in the country, or 32.5 percent of the national output of 21,621 MW, according to data published by the Department of Energy (DOE). Among RE plants, hydro power is the biggest supplier with 3,637 MW of installed capacity, accounting for more than half (51.7 percent) of the total capacity. Geothermal came in second with 1,906 MW, followed by Solar (843 MW), Wind (427 MW) and Biomass (224 MW).♦