Solar power remains consistent in lowering its costs following the renewables trend rising in the Philippine energy sector as of late.
Local solar company Solar Philippines said solar panel costs have fallen 90% over the last ten years, giving solar prices new meaning as it introduces itself as a major player in the country’s renewable energy (RE) mix.
“Filipinos can save 30% on electricity. The average family paying P3,000 will see their bill decrease to P2,000 a month, and now with the latest batteries, entire towns can use solar energy for 24 hours a day,” CEO Leandro Leviste said during the inauguration of the Solar Philippines Factory in Batangas on Wednesday afternoon.
The large-scale solar panel facility boasts the highest quality technology and materials to reach an 800-MW target capacity by 2018, topping the entire solar production of the United States and making the Philippines the leading solar panel manufacturer in the world.
“This factory has enabled us to generate the lowest cost power in the history of the Philippines,” he added, noting that Solar Philippines recently submitted an offer to the country’s electric utilities to replace many planned fossil fuel plants with 5,000-MW of solar farms.
This project is a sole property of Solar Philippines and done in collaboration with Chinese solar systems manufacturers exporting to the Western market.
The event was also attended by President Rody Duterte, who echoed solar’s popularity in the mix is due to its newfound affordability in his inauguration remarks at the Sto. Tomas venue.
“Solar is becoming cheaper now. It used to be very expensive, now the price is diving,” he said.
Aside from leading the renewable revolution, Solar Philippines dedicated its recent efforts to poverty-stricken communities by helping them form respective “Solar Power Associations” and adopt low-cost 24/7 power.
The new factory is also expected to give around 50,000 jobs for the solar industry, from manufacturing to installation. This comes as Solar’s contribution towards the development of the Philippines, Leviste remarked.
Currently, the Philippines sets an example to its neighboring industrial countries like China and India, driving the shift to new power requirements from RE since conservative sources, like coal-fired power plants, are estimated to decline by 86% worldwide, Bloomberg finds.
“86% of planned coal plants globally will be canceled, given the new economics of solar prices,” it said.
Solar Philippines followed after the shutdown of two solar factories in Batangas operated by US-based solar firm SunPower last year. Since then, Solar Philippines has given opportunities to Filipinos experienced in manufacturing solar panels in line with international standards and certifications.