How the Philippines became the top wind power generator in the ASEAN

How the Philippines became the top wind power generator in the ASEAN

Former chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Miguel Zubiri said the Philippines is now the leading player among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in generating wind power as a renewable energy source.

During the 33rd ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting, ASEAN member states agreed to promote the use of renewable energies to solve the electricity problems in some regions.

The 2016 ASEAN plan of Action for Energy Cooperation was formed with the promise to reach a target of 23% renewable energy by 2025. Countries in the region are taking different measures to help the cause.

Philippine wind farms currently have a collective installed capacity of around 400 megawatts (MW). This number exceeds neighboring countries by far. It is also expected to quadruple to 1,600 MWs within two to three years.

A study by the US National Energy Laboratory showed that there are around 10,000 square kilometers of land areas with decent to exceptional wind resources. The coastal areas and provinces in the country house the best wind power plants.

The Philippines is estimated to have 250, 000-MW of untapped renewable energy resources. The Department of Energy aims to install an additional 2,870MW capacity by 2030.

The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and its unit EDC Burgos Wind Power Corporation (EBWPC) owns the biggest wind farm in the world. The plant in Burgos, Ilocos generates 150-MW of energy from the 50 units of V90-3 MW turbines and produces 370 gigawatts per hour (gWh). Wind farms also decrease about 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

EDC is currently the largest geothermal energy producer in the nation and the largest integrated steam and geothermal energy provider in the world.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and EBWPC signed a financing agreement worth $20 million. Other international enterprises are also onboard to support the development of the largest wind farm in the country.

The Renewable Energy Management Bureau is eyeing at least 44 potential wind energy projects that can collectively yield an additional 1,168MW of electricity. Wind energy is a highly preferable energy source because it is plentiful, widespread and it does not run out. It also emits zero carbon dioxide during collection and distribution.

Zubiri credited the Renewable Energy Law for the faster pace of the development and exploration of the nation’s renewable and environment-friendly energy resources. He played an important role in its passage back in 2008. The thriving of wind, hydro, solar, biomass and geothermal power projects has created more than 2.9 million jobs.