Asia: Alternative Energy Philippines - Wind Power Shows Most Promise
The Philippines' first official flag
The Manila Bulletin reports that the Philippines vowed this week to become the world’s top producer of volcanic power.
Geothermal and hydro power already account for a third of national electricity output, and the potential for more renewable energy capacity is high.
The government's energy investment wish-list launched last Thursday to lift the impoverished nation out of oil dependence carries a $25 billion price tag to set against a $61 billion national debt and last year’s $3.5 billion budget deficit.
The Philippines' Department of Energy said the country needs to install an additional 5.2 gigawatts of power generating capacity by 2014 — about a third of existing supply — to meet rising demand. To achieve this, it wants to see renewable-based generating capacity double by 2013 from the current 4.5 gigawatts. Hydro power already accounts for 19% of current capacity, and geothermal 15%.
BP Solar and the Spanish and Philippine governments have agreed to bring solar energy to 150 villages in the Philippines. The solar power project is the largest ever in the country, involving a contract worth US$48 million.
Harry Shimp, BP Solar CEO, said in the world's most isolated areas, use of solar power is often the most cost effective way of supplying basic, essential needs such as lighting, and for water pumping, irrigation and refrigeration for vaccines and medications.
BP Solar has completed a $30-million rural electrification project in the Philippines and a similar $30-million project in Indonesia.
According to Asia Pulse, the Philippines with over 7,000 islands and steady tropical winds is ideal for utilising wind power to counter the recent rise in oil prices.
The article hints at the energy problems China is currently experiencing as a result of their highly energy intensive push to increase their GDP. Let's hope other nations in Asia can learn from China's mistakes and take a more sustainable path.