Government pushes solar power in buildings

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is in discussions with the Department of Energy (DOE) on the possibility of making it attractive for building owners in business districts to use solar power.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said increased use of solar power in business centers would help reduce the country’s power requirements.

“Solar power and renewables are faster to implement than coal fired power plants but also has limited power capacity and are space intensive,” he said.

“But solar panels can be strapped on rooftops. So if solar panels are installed in buildings in Makati and Manila, that would be a lot of relief on our power supply requirements,” he added.

He said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has not opposed the idea.

“I’ve been talking to the DOE secretary already and he does not seem to be averse toward it,” said Pernia.

This still being a plan, Pernia said there are no identified financing mechanisms for the program yet.

The DOE, however, has an existing program for providing solar power for at least 100,000 households in the country.

In September last year, the NEDA board approved the Access to Sustainable Energy Program of the DOE which would provide households electricity and energy services through a grant assistance of solar home systems and rural power generation facilities.

The project cost of P4.89 billion is financed through official development assistance.

Pernia, however, said it would be more feasible if this would be done for commercial buildings whose owners could afford the cost.

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