Freeman Cebu Business

High costs impede RE growth

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Affordability remains a major issue why renewable energy usage failed to take off in the Philippine market.

Japanese-Korean firm Again Group chief executive officer Masato Nishiyama said that despite the fact the Filipinos are already well aware of the benefits of green technology, such as employing solar power systems in their homes, the issue on costs remains to be an impediment.

He said the government needs to do its part in providing a vehicle such as credit access, for the consumers to embrace renewable sources such as putting up solar panels for household consumption.

Again Group, through Again Philippines, recently opened an office in Cebu to bring in Japanese technology solar panels for different market segments.

Nishiyama said the government has the power to make renewable energy an affordable power source for energy consumers, if it has to provide an opportunity for Filipinos to own solar or renewable energy equipment, such as solar panels.

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has an existing loan facility for green projects dubbed as "green loans."

Meanwhile, Philippine operation of API Co., Ltd president Elenita S. Ompad, suggested that while renewable energy equipment is already part of the household necessity nowadays, agencies like Pag-ibig should push this kind of offering.

API's 1x1.2 sized solar plate for instance is pegged at an average of P45 thousand. This panel could produce 250-315 -watt electricity.

Likewise, according to Aldwin Labuga, Philippine project development manager for Conergy Asia and Middle East, access to finance is the top concern among big and small electric consumers in the country.

Labuga suggested that the government should introduce an effective mechanism to push forward the usage of electricity sourced from alternative or renewable supply, such as solar panels, among others.

The banks for instance, he said has yet to appreciate the provision of special loan facility for renewable energy projects, including companies that have big electric supply requirements.

Conergy is one of the world’s largest downstream solar companies, specializing in the design, finance, build and operation of high performance solar systems for homes, businesses and utility-scale power. (FREEMAN)


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