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Manila wind farms to bridge power shortage

MANILA, Philippines – Climate change solutions-provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) welcomed the timely start of operations of new wind farms in Guimaras and Ilocos Norte, which have already added 303 megawatts (MW) to the country’s power supply.
It was reported in late 2014 that Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corporation (TAREC) is in charge of the development of the 54 MW wind farm in San Lorenzo, Guimaras.

TAREC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation, the flagship power and energy company of the PHINMA Group.

Meanwhile, the Ayala, Trans-Asia, Nabas, and Burgos projects are lined up for wind projects. EDC of the Lopez group is reported in October to be constructing the 87 MW Burgos wind project in Ilocos Norte.

The looming power shortage in the summer of 2015 and the pending Senate approval to grant President Benigno Aquino III emergency powers to address it, are two of the pressing issues that concern the energy industry at this time.

March is the month with the highest wind energy output, WWF said, citing data from the Wind Energy Development Association of the Philippines.

“Incidentally, this is the same month when our projected 2015 power shortage is slated to worsen. By seizing the wind, we can augment our power supply this 2015,” said WWF-Philippines climate and energy unit head lawyer Gia Ibay.

‘Seize the wind’

Wind farms take faster to build and are becoming more economical power sources, WWF said.

WWF added that wind farms are freeing energy generation companies and consumers alike from the need to import expensive fossil-fuels like coal and oil.

Wind farms take only about a year to go online, compared with conventional fossil-fuel power plants which can take up to 4 years to construct.

About 70% of Philippine electricity is currently generated from fossil-fuels, 90% of which are imported at varying prices.

As such, WWF urges the Department of Energy (DOE) to seize the opportunity to generate an Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) by increasing the share of renewable energy (RE) in the country’s power mix.

WWF’s Seize the Wind campaign aims to increase the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) allocation for wind energy from 200 MW to 500 MW.

“We are hopeful the Department of Energy shall immediately increase the wind FiT allocation,” Ibay said.

The FIT-All is set as an incentive for renewable energy (RE) developments such as those on wind, run-of-river hydro, solar, and biomass facilities.

Despite a pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) released on January 1 its provisional approval of the feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) billing for all on-grid electricity consumers.

The rate will be collected from electricity end-users, reflected as a separate item in their electricity bills, as mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513)

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