Posted on 14 April 2004
The windswept town of Bangui, Ilocos Norte, on the northern end of Luzon Island, The Philippines, will become the site of the first wind farm in Southeast Asia - a major turning point in tapping the immense potential of renewable power sources in the region.
Luzon Island, The Philippines — The windswept town of Bangui, Ilocos Norte, on the northern end of Luzon Island, The Philippines, will become the site of the first wind farm in Southeast Asia. The NorthWind Power Development Corporation is spearheading the development and construction of the wind farm, which will be fully commissioned by November 2004.
The development of the wind farm is a major turning point in tapping the immense potential of renewable power sources in the Philippines.
“The wind farm will deliver an average of 72gWh annually for 20 years in Ilocos Norte. This will provide the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) with a cheaper and cleaner alternative source of power supply while improving the stability and electrical quality of INEC’s system,“ says Atty. Ferdinand Dumlao, NorthWind Chairman.
“WWF believes that the NorthWind project is a good example of how stakeholder partnership can work, in this case among the LGU, INEC, NorthWind, ^the Department of Energy, and the local communities in pushing for clean energy. This can be institutionalized through a genuine decentralized multi-stakeholder energy planning process,” adds Raf Senga, WWF-Philippines Climate Change Project Manager.
The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) will fund the US$37 million project through subsidized credits. While the cost for developing a fossil fuel plant that delivers the same amount of energy is initially cheaper, a study made by the University of the Philippines Solar Laboratory for WWF-Philippines shows that peso-for-peso, clean energy still costs less than fossil fuel. The reduced environmental damage and money saved from lower imports of coal and oil also makes clean energy a good deal.
In addition to competitive delivery of electricity, one centavo for each kWh produced will go to the host community.
Currently, the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) with WWF-Philippines is debunking statements that a power crisis will hit the nation by 2007. While there is a recurring need to take strategic action to prevent any power crisis, WWF believes it is also important to avoid the other extreme, i.e., overcapacity, which will only aggravate the purchase power adjustment (PPA) situation and burden the consuming public.
Cleaner sources of energy are slowly gaining ground in the Philippines. The country is currently the biggest producer of geothermal energy with a 1,983 MW capacity, second only to the US. Recently, solar electricity became available to rural areas on Mindanao Island, and on Panay Island, local communities recently rejected the construction of a new coal-fired power plant.
WWF-Philippines remains optimistic that when Filipinos are presented with the benefits of choosing clean power sources and if the DOE’s Multi-stakeholder Regional Energy Planning exercise proceeds with transparency, then there will be no stopping the cleaner winds of change. For further information:
Atty. Ferdinand Dumlao
Chairman, NorthWind Power Development Corporation
Tel: +63 2 6389090
Project Manager Climate Change, WWF-Philippines
Tel: +63 917 8485575