Philippine wind power potential highest in Southeast Asia

Greenpeace calls on RP to fast track Renewable Energy Bill

Feature story - September 21, 2006
Greenpeace today called on the Philippine government to fast track the passage of a stronger Renewable Energy (RE) Bill which must contain ambitious, legally-binding targets in order to effectively make a difference in the fight against climate change. The call was issued shortly after the launch of a new industry report, ‘Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006’ in Australia by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)(1) and Greenpeace. The report, an analysis of how the uptake of wind power worldwide is the key to stopping climate change, also cites how the Philippines has the highest wind energy potential in Southeast Asia.

Cover of the Global Wind Energy Outlook report.

"The report firmly places wind power as one of the world's most important energy sources for the 21st century. The Philippines has the potential to become a leading player in this field. But this requires political will on the part of the government to set legally-binding renewable energy targets in the RE Bill. Energy policies must also overcome institutional and market biases in favor of coal and fossil fuels," says Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy campaigner Jasper Inventor.

"Greenpeace is calling on the Philippine government to embrace a target that increases the share of renewables to at least 10% of the country's energy needs by the year 2010. This is a win-win option for a developing country like the Philippines which is most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as well as to threats from rising fossil fuel prices," he added.

At present less than 1% of the entire energy needs of the Philippines comes from renewable sources such as wind, sun, and modern biomass. The RE bill being deliberated in congress lacks definite targets which will trigger the much-needed massive uptake of renewable energy in the country.

Based on a study by the US-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Philippines' wind energy potential of 70,000-MW can meet the country's current energy demand seven times over. Currently, only one wind farm of 25 MW, in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, is installed in the Philippines. And although early this week, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo secured a commitment from Denmark to help expand the facility, the country is still a long way from effectively exploiting its substantial wind energy potential, or even the government-set target of a mere 417 MW from wind within ten years.

According to the 'Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006' report, one third of the world's electricity can be supplied by wind power. It highlights the expansion of wind power worldwide as a key to stopping climate change. Wind turbine capacity implemented on this scale would save 113 billion tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by 2050.

"Wind power is the most attractive solution to the world's energy challenges. It is clean and fuel-free. Moreover, wind is indigenous and enough wind blows across the globe to cope with the ever increasing electricity demand. This report demonstrates that wind technology is not a dream for the future-it is real, it is mature, and it can be deployed on a large scale," said Arthouros Zervos, GWEC´s Chairman. "The political choices of the coming years will determine the world's environmental and economic situation for many decades to come."

"Wind power will significantly reduce CO2 emissions, which is key in the fight against dangerous climate change. Wind power will also address other challenges crucial to developing countries like the Philippines such as security of energy supply and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel prices," added Inventor.

Global Wind Energy Outlook 2006 is available in English, French and Spanish and can be downloaded from: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/globalwindenergyoutlook Also: www.gwec.net (1) Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) - www.gwec.net GWEC is the global forum for the wind energy sector, uniting the wind industry and its representative associations. The member associations of GWEC represent: · Over 1,500 companies, organizations and institutions in more than fifty countries · All the world's major wind turbine manufacturers ·99% of the world's more than 59,000 MW of installed wind power capacity

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