Wind power shift to boost PH economy by $1.1B

Mar 7, 2022 | NEWS

By: Karl R. Ocampo | Published in business.inquirer.net

The Philippines could bring in more than $1.1 billion, or P56.5 billion, to its economy if it will pursue a green recovery plan focusing on the development of wind power, an international group said, although this would also entail investments from both the government and the private sector.

A study published by Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) projected that a green transition with 1.65 gigawatts of wind power installations between 2022 and 2026 would not only cut the country’s carbon emissions but would also improve the country’s power stability and fast-track economic recovery.

To do this, GWEC said the government should address the cumbersome permitting process, insufficient transmission infrastructure in the country, and concerns about unstable policies directed toward clean energy.

Self-sufficient system

“With the increase in coal price volatility and ongoing supply chain disruption, it is time for coal import-dependent countries like the Philippines to develop a self-sufficient power system that relies on clean energy,” said Liming Quiao, head of GWEC Asia.

As of last year, the country’s installed wind power capacity was pegged at 427 megawatts while the share of renewables in the power mix decreased to 21 percent in 2019 from 35 percent in 2018.

Producing a megawatt of wind power is estimated to cost P139 milion, said GWEC, but over the long run, this could translate to an additional $1.1 billion to the economy, 3,600 GW of electricity from 2026 that could power over 3 million homes, and the reduction of 65 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

Quiao said more policies should be crafted that would boost investment in renewable technologies and that would prioritize the creation of green infrastructure through fiscal incentives.

“As elections approach in the Philippines, GWEC and the wind industry look forward to supporting the current and next administrations in creating meaningful climate policies and renewable energy targets, and kickstarting a postpandemic green recovery,” Quiao said.

The study was based on the assumption that all major components of a wind farm will be locally sourced except for turbines, and with wind farms expected to operate for 25 years.

Other countries that were included in the report were Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa—each of which were heavily impacted by the pandemic but “have significant tapped wind energy resources that could unlock rapid economic growth under green recovery measures.”

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