The Philippines is positioned well for producing solar energy and has considerable potential to take advantage of the investments and jobs that can be created by future solar power installations, and look forward to cheaper and cleaner power that is not affected by geopolitics. Moreover, with recovery from the 2013 typhoon gathering pace, robust domestic economic growth, and a range of new projects being announced, the outlook of the Philippines power market is expected to remain positive over the forecast period.
Most of electricity generated in the Philippines can be attributed to coal-fired and oil-based power plants. The bulk of the country's supply of crude and finished petroleum products come from the Middle East. As observed in the past, conflicts in various parts of the Middle East have adversely affected local fuel prices. As a result, the Philippines is at a considerable disadvantage, both concerning access and price. However, with more renewable energy (RE) sources in place, including solar energy, the Philippines has become less exposed to external risks and less dependent on foreign oil.
To facilitate the transition from fossil fuel-based electricity generation to renewable energy-based electricity generation, and make renewable energy investments competitive in the country, the government had introduced Renewable Energy Act of 2008. The Act set out a policy framework for net-metering, in an aim to incentivize small-scale renewable energy generation (up to 100 kW), and introduced the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme in 2012 for wind, solar, biomass and hydro. High FIT is offered to solar project developers, and a strong project pipeline resulted in a vast capacity growth in 2016.
Additionally, the government in the Philippines aims to increase the solar PV installations, to reach 3 GW of utility solar in 2022. In addition, the cumulative solar installation is predicted to reach 8.7 GW by the end of 2030, with solar rooftops constituting 35% of the total installations. These initiatives are likely to further drive the growth of the Philippine solar energy market.
The Philippine grid infrastructure is extremely inefficient, with very high transmission and distribution (T&D) losses, which is estimated at around 15% of total output. Investment into the grid system has been the government’s focus. However, due to recovery efforts following the November 2013 typhoon, progress in the modernization of the network has been delayed.
Solar energy provides an immediate solution to the country’s growing energy needs. With steadily falling costs of solar power equipment and the short duration of time needed to install and commission solar power projects, solar photovoltaic systems are increasingly becoming popular among consumers and industries across the Philippines. The commissioning of the largest solar power project (Cadiz Solar Power Plant) of Southeast Asia in Philippines, in March 2016, is a clear indication of the fact that the solar power market is rapidly emerging in the country and is among the top countries in the regional market.
Moreover, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Philippines' average solar radiation ranges from 128-203 W per square meter. The country’s annual average potential is analyzed to be 5.1 kWh/m2/day. This provides immense opportunities for growth in the solar energy market in Philippines.
MAJOR PLAYERS: Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Equis Energy, PetroEnergy Resource Corporation, San Carlos Sun Power Inc.