Energy and Efficiency in the Philippines

This is the next blog based on the encyclopedia of energy, this time focusing on the Philippines.

The archipelago is in the south of Taiwan and north of Indonesia and consists of over 7,000 islands. About a third of its population live below the poverty line, and only 65% have permanent and stable access to electricity. It is a constructional republic with a presidential system and due to the Spanish occupation largely Christian, with a largely independent Muslim Autonomous Region.

In terms of conventional energy, the Philippines import about 50% of its total energy output as coal and crude oil, but for renewables, the island has some great resources for solar, wind and geothermal energy.

The RE ACT, implemented after the latest 2008 crises, aims to promote exploitation of renewable through fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, and this has led to 2oo new such projects being anticipated, but many still struggle with funding because of the perceived risks.

Electricity is already generated by renewable means for 33%, and the government is hoping to reach 40% by 2020. A 100% increase of renewables as compared to 2002 is another declared goal by the government and supported by several market-based policies. A major share could by delivered through geothermal energy.

Furthermore, the Philippines come 4th in the region for paybacks from energy efficiency projects. Already in place since 2004, the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme (NEECP) lays out the steps towards an efficient future. The Department of Energy has been keen to promote efficiency measures as well as renewable energy technologies.

The Energy Efficiency Project is supported by the Asian development Bank and has a heavy focus on efficient lighting, in private and public sectors. Still, a national push and a solid framework are needed to tackle the complexity of the issue of efficiency, a clear fact which is proven by the difficulties even industrialized countries are facing.

The Philippines benefit from the fast-start finance programme put in place by the UNFCCC in 2009, and can get financing for adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer projects.

The country is still is strong need of grounded policies and a solid framework, otherwise there are fears that the targets set by the government might not by reached. Especially regulatory enforcement is needed in order to justify the countries position as a leader in the region for renewables and efficiency.

The full energy article Philippines will be published in the Encyclopedia of Energy in 2012 and the it was written by Daphne Barbotte for REEEP SEAP.

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