Chinese solar firms see bright spots in Philippines

26-Oct-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

China-based global solar manufacturer LONGi Solar sees huge opportunities in the Philippines anchored on the steady energy demand growth and the upcoming renewable energy (RE) capacity auction.

The country’s stable growth in power demand offers legroom for investors to come in and invest in the power sector, LONGi Solar marketing director for APAC Benjamin Wong said in an e-mail interview.

“The Philippines has a steady four percent annual increase in energy demand which provides a comfortable room to grow for the renewable energy industry in the long-term,” he said.

Wong cited the country’s mature financing environment, which is seen as a big advantage for solar project development compared to the rest of the Asia Pacific region.

“Many international independent power producers are targeting the Philippines as the next booming market, and are ready to invest once the market opens again for solar projects,” Wong said.

With the push to develop more renewables in the country, Wong said the growing energy demand would be served by the Green Energy Auction Programme (GEAP) to be launched by government which would signal more investments in renewable energy, particularly in solar.

“The market is only one step away from expanding its solar capacity. The DOE currently has hundreds of solar projects registered. Once the tender regime is introduced, the country will move forward quickly to deploy solar energy into the grid,” Wong said. GEAP provides additional market options for RE developers and generators and promotes a competitive setting of rates for RE supply in the country.

It was originally slated for a June launch but was deferred to this month. However, the Department of Energy may miss its October target anew as it has yet to finalise the policy.

Attracting more foreign investments in infrastructure would hasten the solar market’s growth, Wong said.

“The Philippines has already been taking steps to lift the restrictions of foreign shareholding limitation. With government support reflected in its policies, more international investors will take a stake in the country, create thousands of jobs for the years to come, and further achieve the country’s renewable energy goals,” he said.

The country can also take advantage of commercial and industrial rooftops to advance the development of the solar sector.

This can be done with the issuance of more government policy support to further incentivise the installation of solar rooftops, Wong said.

“Examples of policies that can aid developers and installers are uniform requirements for solar installations in every municipality, and tax incentives for green jobs that take effect upon employment. In effect, the scale of the solar commercial and industrial installation can greatly release the pressure on state utilities,” he said.

LONGi Solar, China’s largest solar manufacturer, is the market pioneer in mono-crystalline solar technology and the largest solar wafer and module manufacturer in the world. The performance of its modules has been verified by third party audit agencies under the most demanding conditions.

Wong said the company is committed to working with Philippine customers to develop the business and contribute to the country’s renewable goals.

The company entered the Philippine market in 2017, providing the solar panels for the 100-megawatt ( MW) solar and 132 MW wind hybrid project in Ilocos Norte.

It is also supplying another 80MW project, which reached ready-to-build phase in 2020 and is expected to start commercial operations within the year.

For this year, LONGi Solar’s commercial and distribution projects reached around 30 MW.


Category: Philippines

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