From: Dominick DalSanto
Published August 20, 2012 03:32 PM

Philippines Working To Encourage Renewable Energy Development

"Fortune favors the bold" might as well be the motto of the Philippines regarding their energy policy and their efforts to achieve their goals. However, a bold plan is only the first step to achieving the colossal task of weaning an entire country off its dependance on foreign-sources fossil fuels. The logistics of the effort are proving to be more than a challenge for even the most developed of nations. However the Philippines are stepping up to the challenge by implementing a clear, comprehensive and decisive energy plan. This can be an example for other countries to emulate.

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Renewable energy development in the Philippines is vital because the nation is one of the fastest growing in Asia with over 92 million residents. As population and economy continue to grow, meeting the increased demand for electricity will pose a difficult challenge for the island nation. The cost of transmitting power and transporting traditional fossil fuel (which the nation lacks) to the more than 7,000 islands and to isolated areas is very high. Philippines has the highest electricity rate in Asia. With this in mind, the government has decided to take action now to begin reduce its reliance on costly fuel imports and tap its vast potential for renewable, locally produced energy, estimated to be over 70,000MW.

The Government of the Philippines views the development of renewable energy sources as a national priority. The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) outlined a clear energy plan with emphasis on the development of renewables. Over the next 20 years, the country looks to increase renewable capacity by 200%, to account for 50% of all energy produced, and keep self-sufficiency at 60% minimum. Most of this development will be in geothermal, solar, and particularly wind, in which it looks to become the largest wind producer in Southeast Asia.

The country has taken steps to encourage private development and investing, both foreign and domestic, including a feed in tariff, creating a favorable business climate and more. The country is now attracting sizable amounts of investment for renewable energy development. Potential investors and developers, both domestic and foreign are now jumping at the chance to get in on the action.

Domestic and International Investors and Developers are Pouring Into The Philippine Renewable Energy Market.

Philippine Hybrid Energy Systems, Inc. (PHESI) is one such developer leading the charge. The company, which is headed by CEO Armando De Rossi, is currently developing several projects, most notably the 48MW wind farm in the province of Oriental Mindoro.

Samuel DalSanto, an American who recently came onboard as CFO of PHESI, says not only are they lining up investors from all corners of the globe, but also local celebrities such as Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas (a regular tabloid headliner, and former husband of Filipino star Ruffa Gutierrez).

After a recent ceremony, which included Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Samuel outlined why he thinks the Philippines offer so much to renewable energy developers, "They have a clear plan to address its energy needs for the future, and they have made it a priority now. Obviously, the government's attitude towards growing the renewable energy sector plays a large role in why the Philippines are so attractive from a developer’s and investor’s viewpoint" says Samuel Dalsanto. "Add to that the ease of doing business here in what is normally in other countries such a difficult to enter market due to over-regulation, and the high rate of return for investors here makes the Philippines one of the best places for renewable development in the world."

Photo shows Mindoro wind farm courtesy EVWIND.

Read more about how the Philippine government is working to encourage investment in its renewable energy industry here: Philippine Energy Policy Attracts Scores of Investors, Both Foreign and Domestic.

Dominic's link on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/114310132956878157033/?rel=author">Dominick DalSanto</a>

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