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DOE eyes 830 MW of power from RE sources by 2013

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy (DOE) is targeting to install 830 megawatts (MW) of power capacity from renewable energy sources up to 2013.

Industry sources said the DOE is setting 250 MW from biomass; solar, 100 MW; wind, 220 MW; ocean, 10 MW and hydro, 250 MW.

The targets, the sources said, is 40 percent below what the renewable energy developers are proposing to the DOE.

Specifically, the RE developers wanted an installation target of a total of 1,482 MW (442 MW for biomass, 420 MW for solar, 340 MW for wind, 30 MW for ocean and hydro at 250 MW).

Montalban Methane Power Corp. president Peregrino Fernandez said the DOE should focus more on renewable energy development in the near-term “instead of prolonging our dependence on imported, dirty and volatile oil and coal.”

“The country has a huge energy capacity given our vast indigenous resources, as well as our access to good industry technologies,” Fernandez said.

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Sunwest Water and Electric Power Co. president Sly Natividad, on the other hand, expressed disappointment on “the habit of paying more money for the rising cost of imported coal and fuel.”

“The increase in the cost of power is inevitable in the coming months, primarily because of the instability in the Middle East. But, should we perpetually pay for this instability, or invest our money wisely, like in building hydropower plants or wind farms, to have more stable and diversified clean energy supply?” he said.

Meanwhile, Philippine Solar Power Alliance president Tetchi-Cruz Capellan, said “the industry believes that the proposed installed target for solar contradicts the spirit of the RE Law and degrades the value of renewables to the country’s overall economic development.”

According to Capellan, solar energy developers applied for close to 500 MW in service contracts.

“Reducing this figure to 100 MW, compared to Thailand’s two gigawatt installation target for solar, puts the Philippines at the tail end. It is ironic that the other countries, with lesser irradiation from the sun, are building more solar energy and preparing the future,” she added.

“We constructed the first utility-scale solar facility in Cagayan de Oro. Now, with the government’s target, the Philippines’ not only lost billions of dollars in green investments, it also degraded our regional standing in renewables. Government needs to re-think its strategy.”

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