Sun Tell Aiming at a Largely Untapped Market in the Philippines
The Philippines is trying to diminish the effects of climate change by investing in its renewable energy sources. Sun Tell aims to take advantage of this surge of investment into renewable energy.
Minato-ku, Japan, August 27, 2015 (Newswire.com) - The Philippines may not be one of the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, but according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2015, it is one of the most vulnerable to climate change.
And with this in mind, the country along with international partners like Sun Tell is looking to utilize its sustainable energy resources.
Climate change has taken a more prominent position in government policy worldwide, with many countries ramping up their use of renewable energy. According to the Renewables 2015 Global Status Report, sources of sustainable energy made up nearly half of new input to the world's total power capacity in 2014, with the most popular forms of renewables being wind, solar and hydro power.
Dr. Christopher Chu (PhD) - Senior Director & Principal Energy Analyst at Sun Tell stated that “Although resource-rich Philippines is one of the top five investors of geothermal power, other sustainable sources, such as wind and solar are under-utilized and its these areas where we believe Sun Tell are the strongest and that is where our main efforts will be focused”.
New technology, such as personal wind turbines, has been popping up around the Philippines, but the rate remains slow. While the Philippines has a huge capacity for sustainable energy, such as hydropower and geothermal, it only makes up a small percentage of the total energy make-up - leaving a lot of room for potential growth.
One reason why sustainable energy makes up such a small percentage is due to the structure of the energy sector. "The energy sector is private sector-driven; it’s a free market even for investors,” said Zenaida Monsada, Officer-in-Charge, Philippines Department of Energy. “The present practice is moving towards coal, as it’s the least costly.”
She added: “Our aspiration is for a balanced energy mix – one-third for coal, one-third for renewable and one-third for natural gas, even if it’s a fossil fuel it’s much cleaner than diesel.”
In response, the European Union has been investing heavily in the Philippines' energy sector. The EU has committed 12 billion pesos (US$265 million) in energy investments between 2014 and 2030.
"We have picked energy as one of our focal areas because we believe that reducing the cost of energy will help promote higher economic growth here in the Philippines," said Guy Ledoux, EU Ambassador to the Philippines.
According to Mr Ledoux, while the per capita emission of carbon dioxide in the Philippines is still very low, it is still one of the countries most affected by climate change. In the past two years, the Philippines has been hit by a number of extreme weather events, such as Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
Meanwhile, with the funds from the EU, the Philippines aims to triple its clean power capacity to account for half of its energy needs. This it hopes will not only reduce the effects of climate change, but also lower the cost of energy use from imported fuel.