Ilocos Norte aims for top spot in renewable-energy production

by Philippines News AgencyJuly 21, 2016

from Business Mirror

LAOAG CITY—In support of the national government’s commitment to a sustainable environment, Ilocos Norte welcomes more investments on renewable energy (RE) to stay clean and green.

The United Nations Framework on Climate Change, through the 21st Conference of Parties, aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent from expected levels in 2030. With this, the province wants to eliminate also its carbon footprint.

As host to a total of 283-megawatt (MW) wind-power farms in the towns of Bangui, Burgos and Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte; and approximately 26.7-MW solar projects in Currimao and Burgos, respectively, including a 5-MW Agua Grande hydroelectric plant in Pancian, Pagupdud, local authorities here have expressed their commitment to sustain the growth of RE here.

Among the first measures submitted to the new set of Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or Provincial Board) is a draft resolution proposing that the province be declared as a clean, green and coal-free province, in its bid to become the first province in the country to phase out coal use and transition itself to a hundred percent RE consumer.

According to the main proponent, Provincial Board member Mariano Marcos II, who chairs the committee on environment, a multisectoral dialogue looms as he plans to invite all concerned stakeholders to participate and gather inputs.

While leading the way in sustainable RE development, RE players here, such as the Ayala and Lopez group, of geothermal companies are also expanding their business here.

Arranged on a single row stretching along the Bangui bay shoreline, facing the West Philippines Sea, the pioneering Northwind Power Development Corp. wind farm in Southeast Asia commenced in 2005.

The development increased RE investors confidence and as they followed suit years later with a bigger and wider coverage spanning the coastal municipalities of Burgos and Pagudpud where wind blows strongest, based on a recent wind test.

Unlike the job-rich Business Processing Outsourcing companies such as Accenture Philippines and Expert Global Solutions Inc. which have established service centers in the central business district of San Nicolas town including the recent expansion of the Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp., provincial officials hope more investments on self-maintaining RE projects will pay off in the long run.