The Philippines, formally known as the Republic of the Philippines, is an island country located in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by a number of countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Borneo, and Indonesia. It is located right on the Pacific Ring of Fire. Its tropical climate may make the country prone to typhoons and earthquakes, but it has also provided the country with an abundance of natural resources and one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity found anywhere in the world. Because of these two factors, in the last few years, the Philippines have greatly been exploring renewable energy to lower their carbon footprint, increase environmental stewardship, and lower the country’s overall dependence on imported fossil fuels. Currently, the government is looking to increase renewable energy generation capacity to more than 15 million kilowatts by the year 2030, especially through the use of wind power, geothermal power, and hydropower. Here are just a few of the highlights of clean technology in the Philippines.
1 ) First Philippine BioEnergy Conference. In 2012, the Philippines will hold its first ever Philippine BioEnergy Conference. It will take place in Manila Philippines. It is going to “gather together different local and international experts in renewable energy sector, government, academe, members of agricultural community, sustainable environment advocates, financiers, technology providers, and producers and manufacturers to discuss issues on research and development, emphasizing the state of industry in economically viable and environmentally sustainable production and utilization of biofuels and biomass supply.” It will also aid in the further development of the bioenergy sector in the Philippines.
2 ) 2011 sees the launch of the Philippines National Renewable Energy Program. In June of 2011, President Aquino launched the brand new National Renewable Energy Program of the government. The program is aimed at addressing the increasing costs and insufficiencies in the electricity supply, especially in the rural areas. According to the article, “The NREP contains a framework for action, existing and future measurements, instruments and policies for the promotion of renewable energy as well as a roadmap that will guide efforts towards actualizing the market penetration targets of each renewable energy source in the country.”
3 ) World Wilde Fund for Nature Pushes for Renewable Energy in Philippines. The World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as WWF-Philippines, is currently pushing for a diversification of the mix of power generation in Mindanao so it will include more renewable sources of energy. In a released statement, the WWF-Philippines said that “a diversified power mix would serve as a bugger to the adverse effects of climate change and to the volatility of international fossil fuel prices. This would likewise insulate ‘Filipino consumers from the increasing prices of oil and coal while enhancing its energy independence and dramatically reducing carbon emissions.
4 ) Greenergy Holdings Inc. Eyes Billion Dollar Deal for Renewable Energy with Chinese Firm. In September of 2011, The Philippines’ Greenergy Holdings Inc said that it approved a deal with a Chinese firm, the Tianjin Tianbao Investment and Development Corp, on various joint ventures in the renewable energy industry that would include $1.3 billion in investments. The wind energy projects in this deal will generate a minimum of one-thousand megawatts of energy spanning a ten year period.
5 ) Boost to Renewable Energy Growth in Northern Philippines. Starting in 2012, the True Green Energy Group (TGEG) signed a letter of intent with Beltran Technologies for $145 million for the agreement of TGEG to implement 20 complete modular MSW gasification system units to power landfill areas around the globe. This project is said to employ approximately 11,000 individuals from three of the major provinces in the Northern Philippines.
6 ) DOE Still Servicing Renewable Energy Contracts. After the adoption of a brand new set of guidelines, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) continues to approve renewable energy contracts. Jose Rene Almendras, the Energy Secretary said that the DOE “has already approved more than a thousand megawatts of hydropower and mini-hydropower contracts in the past months. Per the new guidelines or set of rules, the DOE hopes to ensure more approvals in the near future. The guidelines would also help on feasibility studies, if and how manageable a project can be. The DOE has also stated that there currently is a total of 384 pending renewable energy applications, with the majority of the bulk belonging to hydropower projects.”
7 ) New Biofuels Plants to Increase Renewable Energy Resource in the Philippines. The Philippines are going to enjoy gaining support from global renewable energy investors. With the Biofuels Act of 2006, Pacific Biofuels Corporations is going to start three brand new biofuels plant from different crop wastes. Each will have the ability to convert up to 80,000 tons of agricultural waste annually. It will then be converted into more than 37 million liters of biofuels. The selected crops include rice (both straw and hull), coconut (both shell and husk), and sugarcane bagasse.
8 ) Land Bank of the Philippines Looks to Provide Support to Additional Renewable Energy Projects. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBT) is currently sourcing a number of renewable energy projects, including geothermal, biomass, wind, hydropower, and solar. LBT is looking to find the projects to assist with changing the amount of excess pollutants the energy providers are making and supply more sustainable and cheaper power to some of the smaller communities.
9 ) Montalban Methane looks to tap into more Sources of Renewable Energy in Philippines. Montalban Methan Power Corp has already tapped into methane by creating a 8.19 megawatt methane facility in the Philippines but is not looking to expand its portfolio by building new facilities that use other sources of renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydro. The company will more focus on hydro because they can run more efficiency even without too much reliance on feed-in tariff rates.
10 ) Angat Dam Home to a new Solar Power System. Korea Water Resource Water Corp (K-Water), in December of 2011, made plans to start setting up a floating solar power system in Angat Dam, a concrete water reservoir. The project would cost around $60 million and provide a minimum of ten megawatts of electricity to the Luzon grid. The solar power system should be completed by 2013 with a feasibility study sometime in 2012.
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.