Solar energy is one of the promising renewable energy sources in the Philippines. With the abundant exposure of the country to the sun, it makes the country build a very large potential in harnessing solar energy. There are enough reasons why it should become an important part of the country’s energy mix for economic, energy and environmental effects.
It creates an energy-secure Philippines
With the current inflating price of oil in the market, harnessing solar power decreases the country’s dependence on fossil fuels. With more renewable energy sources in place, the country is less exposed to external risks and less dependent on foreign oil.
It supplies significant power worldwide
Solar technologies have established their effectiveness and efficiency since 2012 with a global installed capacity of 100,000 megawatts. Approximately 31,000 MW of new solar technologies were installed last 2021. It includes the installation soaring in Asia with the highest growth of all regions (+66). These numbers offer immense potential for new investments in solar technology.
Its potential in the Philippines
The National Renewable Energy Plan has a target of 1528MW attributed to solar technology. According to this plan, the country has a potential to be greater than the set target. Peak demand is expected to reach 14,311 GWh by 2018 and 24,534 GWh by 2030, up from 9,226 GWh in 2008.
Given these demand projections, 17,000 MW of new capacity should be installed to ensure adequate power supply. Luzon alone will require 12,500 MW of additional capacity over the next 20 years, with Visayas and Mindanao following suit.
Mindanao, which is already experiencing power shortages, will require 2,150 MW and 2,500 MW in new capacity during the same time period.
According to the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP), the country’s renewable energy base should be 15,304 MW by 2030, nearly tripling the current installed base. Solar will account for 10% of this total.
It makes sense to consumers
Solar facilities are simple to erect, adaptable, and minimally noticeable. Contrary to popular belief, solar technology is not limited to square and flat panels. Solar facilities can be shaped and bent, making them easier to incorporate into housing and building designs. Solar panels can also be installed on rooftops and other parts of a building to provide power to such establishments while occupying little space. These solar panels also require little maintenance.
With the country’s abundant sunlight, potential power generation capacity is from 4.5 to 5.5 kWh per square meter per day.
The Philippines is well-positioned for solar energy, capitalizing on the decline in the cost of solar-powered systems over the years. With reduced fuel consumption, solar becomes an economically viable electricity source for Philippine consumers and industries.
Distributed generation using solar rooftops
The steadily falling cost of solar power equipment and its easy installation make a positive image on this increasingly becoming popular source of energy. Solar power solutions are now very easy to acquire due to the decline of prices of its components to make it available for household consumers and industrial consumers.
The cost of investing in solar will go a long way in savings. The lifespan of a typical solar kit can last up to 25 years, where in that case is free energy.
It is affordable
The FiT scheme allows solar electricity prices to be fixed for 20 years, whereas fossil fuel power prices remain volatile and are expected to rise further. Solar electricity prices will remain fixed at 0.3 centavos for the next 20 years if the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approves the FiT, compared to how the ERC approved rates for Luzon increased by 11.3 percent, or P1.58 per kWh, due to pass-through fuel charges from 2003 to 2010.
FiT is better described as an investment and a hedge than as a subsidy. The scheme calculates the avoided fuel costs over the next 20 years.
Solar energy creates jobs
RE contributes to inclusive growth by creating thousands of new jobs. Jobs created by increased solar deployment will not be limited to the manufacturing sector or the solar technology sub-group of the electronics sector. The majority of the jobs will be in installation, effectively employing people in rural areas where solar installations are most viable and practical. Additional jobs will be created as a result of solar installation maintenance.
Solar allows greater access to energy
Rural electrification with solar energy enables the installation of mobile phone charging stations in barangay halls, allowing members of the community to communicate more effectively. These seemingly minor changes, when considered collectively, result in a more progressive community as a whole.
Solar means investment attraction
New solar power deployments imply new investments, which will generate millions of pesos in additional revenue for the government. While the Renewable Energy Law provides a wide range of fiscal incentives to the RE sector, proponents of solar power projects will eventually have to remit taxes when their tax breaks expire. Their employees will also pay their own taxes, providing the government with additional revenue.
It is the most environment-friendly source of power
It is very evident that the power of the sun to produce electricity has zero emission. Solar energy inflicts no damage to the environment. According to research, every kWh of solar power produced saves 0.88 kilograms of CO2. As much as 1,576 kilograms of CO2 emissions are avoided for every 1.5 kW of installed solar capacity.