Philippine Oil Company to Install Wind Energy

A 40 megawatt wind farm will be constructed for the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) in Burgos, Ilocos.

PASIG CITY, Philippines – The National Economic & Development Authority (NEDA) has approved the $54 million facility, with possible funding from the Japan Bank. The pilot facility is expected to be finished by 2002 and, if successful, plans include installation of more wind turbines to reach a total of 120 MW capacity. National Power Corp. will buy the generation for its Luzon grid. NEDA is the country’s highest policy coordinating body, which was created in 1972 and is chaired by President Estrada. In its national energy plan to 2025, it said there is good potential for wind energy, with a national average mean power density of 30.8 watts per square meter. Solar radiation is also viewed as very positive. To achieve its goals within 25 years, the Philippines will require 6,235 billion pesos, of which 832 billion would be required for the oil and gas sector, 106 for geothermal, 506 for mini-hydro and 420 billion for renewable energy. The private sector is expected to provide 91 percent (P5,700 billion), with the government providing the balance. “Indigenous, renewable energy resources (should be) sufficiently developed to meet the increasing energy requirements of the country,” says the plan. “Energy (should be) developed, produced and consumed in an efficient and environmentally sustainable manner while at the same time allowing for technology advancements.” “Developing indigenous and renewable energy sources for energy self-sufficiency is considered a continuing task in the energy sector,” it explains. “As such, identifying the factors that currently constrain the accelerated development of indigenous and renewable resources and addressing these constraints is important.” A government priority is to provide electricity to rural areas and, from 1992 to 1997, one million consumers in 113 municipalities and 2,718 barangays were provided with electricity, bringing the number of energized municipalities to 98 percent of total towns and 68 percent of rural barangays. The country’s five geothermal fields generate 31,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year and displace the need for US$913 million of fuel oil equivalent. As of 1996, geothermal accounted for 1,446 MW or 13 percent of total installed capacity, of which 41 percent had been commissioned during the previous five years. The Philippines has another 5,000 MW of potential reserves of which 29 fields are in different regions. There is a “need to minimize the negative impact to health and safety of emissions from power plants and energy systems,” says the plan, and a need “to pursue energy sufficiency in order to meet the country’s increasing energy requirements.” Among the concerns are a lack of incentives, low priority for research and development, and a need to review royalties and taxes for renewable energy resources. Among the long-term strategies detailed in the plan is the need to integrate environmental, safety and socio-cultural concerns in the planning and implementation of energy programs and projects, and to “promote extensive development of indigenous and renewable energy such as geothermal, hydro power and biomass energy in power development for increased private sector participation in view of their renewability, environmental compatibility and sustainability.” The country must also adopt a pricing strategy that makes hydro, geothermal, ocean, solar, wind and biomass resources “stable and competitive with coal, gas, and fuel oil,” and develop economically sustainable energy systems for rural electrification. The six-year plan from 1999 to 2004 will “maximize utilization of indigenous and renewable energy sources and pursue legislation to promote such development” and accelerate the exploration and development of the country’s indigenous sources of energy. It will promote energy conservation, energy efficient technologies and energy research. PNOC Energy Development Corp. has 1,148 MW of geothermal energy, which is more than 60 percent of the total capacity in the Philippines.

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