Danish RE firm notes hazy PHL policy on wind power

By  Lenie Lectura – September 27, 2017

from Business Mirror

VESTAS Asia Pacific Wind Technology Pte. Ltd. expressed anew its concern on the lack of clear-cut policy of the Philippine government on incentives for wind-power projects.

“What the industry needs is a clarity in policies. We’d like to see a clear direction. The point for us is very clear, there’s abundant wind resource, there’s financing available,” Vestas Asia Pacific President Clive Turton said. “If the government has a clear policy, there will be a boom in this industry. We don’t like to direct the government but what we want is a clear direction.”

The Department of Energy (DOE) is no longer keen on granting another round of incentives for wind power projects under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) scheme.

The DOE increased in 2015 the FiT installation target for wind from 200 megawatts (MW) in the first round to 400 MW in the second round (FiT-2). For the wind FiT-2 rates, the regulators approved P7.40 per kilowatt-hour (kwh), lower by P1.13, from the original rate of P8.53 per kwh.

Under the FiT system, qualified developers of emerging renewable-energy (RE) sources are offered on a fixed rate per kWh of their exported electricity to the distribution or transmission network. This scheme excludes the energy utilized from RE plants eligible for own use.

The Vestas official is concerned about the near-term outlook for wind in the country. Since the FiT2 came to an end, and until other policies come into effect, there is no operational wind regulatory framework.

“We have dozens of customers that are very keen to invest in Philippines. We are working on dozens of projects here; looking at wind resource, connecting to the grid, land space, in preparation for the development,” Turton said. “Even if we are all awaiting clear direction, developers are working on.”

He added that the Philippines, which hosts 393.9 MW of wind capacity, could be a leader in the Asean region in providing affordable and clean power. “The technology is improving so much so there is a great opportunity. The Philippines is uniquely positioned to exploit existing wind resources,” Turton said. “When I say that Philippines could be a leader, there is no prize to be the first. The benefit is for the country itself. You can be a leader in a sense that you can attract more foreign investments,” the official added.

Vestas is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer and service provider of wind turbines that employs over 400 people in the Philippines. The company may put up a manufacturing hub in the country.

“We have a shared service center here, employing 400 people to provide services worldwide,” Turton said. “There is no reason we will not look at manufacturing.