USAID: RE has potential in Ph’s COVID-19 recovery

solar pv conference USAID

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that there is potential for renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency to be integrated into the country’s post-COVID19 economic recovery plans. 

“The economic recovery plans show potential for recovery that’s green and sustainable,” USAID-Energy Secure Philippines (USAID-ESP) senior policy and finance advisor Claire Marie Yvonne Lee said during the Philippine Solar PV Energy Virtual Summit on Thursday.

Lee mentioned that electricity prices drastically increased in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit due to disruptions in coal supply generation. “This further aggravated the already strained economic situation,” she added. 

Coal accounts for almost half of the country’s current energy mix.

“Investing in green projects both renewable energy and energy efficiency should be a top priority for the government,” Lee said, adding that RE technologies have become progressively cheaper and no longer require centralized infrastructure. 

Lee emphasized the increasing demand for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in the country. As of 2020, the country has 1,050 megawatts (MW) of installed solar PV systems. 

“Demand for Solar PV from industrial and commercial segments continues to increase and positively impact the growth of the solar energy market in the PH,” Lee said. 

When it comes to the economical benefits of renewable energy to the country’s economy, Lee cited a study from the Developers for Renewable Energy for Advancement (DREAM), an organization of renewable energy associations under the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The study showed that for every Php1 tax incentive given to RE companies, the industry gives back Php12 to the economy. 

Meanwhile, USAID-ESP is looking to add 500MW additional generating capacity through its activity that aims to enhance energy security and reliability by improving utility performance, increasing deployment of advanced energy sources and systems, and enhancing competition in the energy sector. 

Power Philippines is the media partner of the Philippine Solar PV Energy Virtual Summit.