Press Release
March 30, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that if the country is able to harness the full potential of wind energy and other Renewable Energy (RE) sources, then the country would be able to diversify the energy mix and utilize cleaner energy sources while at the same time helping to avoid a power crisis.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), noted that Japan, which was recently devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis, was able to rely on its installed wind power systems that remained undamaged and provide power to Japans grid.

As of the end of 2010, Japan had 1746 wind turbines throughout the country, providing 2304 MW of power. One wind farm with seven turbines located 40 meters from the shore of Kamisu, about 300 km from the epicenter of the earthquake survived an estimated 5m high tsunami, becoming the first wind farm in the world to face such a disaster and survive.

"By exploiting innovative RE Systems like wind energy, we can move towards achieving the long term goal of energy independence," said Angara, who also noted that RE produces roughly 40% of the country's total energy, but this is mostly geothermal, while wind, solar, and micro-hydro account for less than 1%.

According to the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), the projected total local power demand for the Philippines in the next five years is within the range of 1,500 to 2,000 MW.

An assessment of the Philippines wind power potential by the US based National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) projects that the Philippines has over 10,000 square kilometers of areas that have good to excellent wind source potential. This means that the Philippines has 76,600 MW of potential capacity. These numbers only reflect capacity for large wind systems.

Angara said that wind power technology is a mature technology, and installed capacity for wind systems is growing worldwide at about 30% annually. With the analysis of NREL and availability of technology and suppliers, the Philippines can become a regional leader in wind energy production.

A world wind report released in 2009 listed the Philippines as 42nd in the world for installed wind capacity with 33 MW in only one wind farm in Bangui Bay, Ilocos. The top three in the world are the USA (35,159 MW), China (26,010), and Germany (25,777 MW).

Angara added that the amount of installed wind capacity in these three countries alone is proof of the feasibility of utilizing wind power, and the government should lend more support to this and other RE industries.

Angara said that some opponents of RE are calling for a move to increase energy efficiency instead of risking the deployment of RE systems, but he said that the smart move would be to develop energy efficiency and RE at the same time.

COMSTE, a long time proponent for RE, has stated that the country can achieve 65 % of energy from RE in 10 years, with the right leadership, strategic investments by local and foreign parties, and a major focus on technology transfer to our local electronics and engineering companies.

COMSTE is a non-voting member of National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), which is tasked to come up with Feed In Tariffs (FIT) rates for RE. FIT rates will help stimulate the industry by offering guaranteed payments per kilowatt-hour to renewable energy developers for the electricity they produce.

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