The Asian Development Bank has made available $102 million to the Philippine government to boost the use of renewable energy in the country, specifically solar and hydropower resources.
Sohail Hasnie, principal energy specialist at the ADB, explained that $100 million in loans remained available for the solar rooftop project while a $2-million grant was being used to pilot micro-hydropower facilities in Mindanao.
Hasnie explained that the ADB has yet to receive word from the Aquino administration, specifically from the Department of Energy, as to whether it remained amenable to using the $100 million as loans to help local building owners install solar panels on their rooftops, similar to what the Manila-based lender did last year in its own 20-year-old headquarters in Ortigas.
Although the loan facility was announced last year, the $100 million remained untapped.
The ADB completed last year the installation of 2,040 photovoltaic panels, which occupied 6,640 square meters on the roof of ADB’s main building. These panels have a capacity of 571 kilowatts (roughly half a megawatt), equivalent to a yearly generation of 613 megawatt-hours. The capacity from the solar panels is now being used to run a portion of the multilateral lender’s air-conditioning, lighting and computer systems, not to mention the reduction in its carbon footprint.
Of the $100-million facility, $20 million would come from the Clean Technology Fund and $80 million would be provided by the ADB, Hasnie added.
Hasnie also disclosed that the $2-million grant from the ADB was being used to put up micro-hydropower facilities within the Caraga region. Through the grant, the ADB has identified 25 potential sites where it could put up the power units in partnership with the state-run National Electrification Administration and other stakeholders.
The target, according to Hasnie, was to put up at least two micro-hydropower facilities that could generate up to 500 kilowatts.—Amy R. Remo