ADB allots $102M for solar, hydro


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

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  • Jake Lopez

    So much emphasis is being given to solar power and wind power generation which are the most expensive and glamorous. Why not give more attention to micro and mini-hydro why could run day in and day out. A micro-hydro power project could light up a community or a small town with head water as low as two meters and cost less than 5 million pesos minimum. I guess investors are staying away from these projects because of the reforestation necessary considering the state of our forests. But isn’t reforestation a MUST too? We will be hitting two birds with one stone in the long run..reforestation and cheaper power generation.

  • nazar_agawin

    DOE as the lead agency in renewable projects implementer is not one of their strong points. Maybe these fund availability should be channeled directly to association of electric cooperatives who are struggling in all fronts: financing, power supply, and management.  
    In terms of sun-hours, almost all regions in Mindanao have 5 to 5.5 sun-hours except coastal areas. In the Visayas around 75% have good solar power potential namely Samar, Bohol, Cebu, Negros and Panay. In Luzon only Tarlac, Pampanga and parts of Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, Cam Sur, and Ilocos Norte are good areas for solar power. Other areas not mentioned have lower than 5 sun-hours which would make the return of investment longer than 9 years at current prices.

    power consultant

    • Wadav

      The solar potential of our country is just so huge! had already experienced it in our farm! We are using solar power for our submersible water pump and our electricity needs! Really it is empowering and fun! Cost of solar panels now are so cheap! 

      • nazar_agawin

        Go Renewables!

  • jurbinsky77

    Forty-six per cent (46%) of the world’s electric power generation is by coal.

    In the Philippines, the pseudo-environmentalists often noise about pollution without proof. The new power plants should utilize carbon capture and storage to reduce carbon dioxide, store them underground for disposal.

    Build coal plants in Quezon, Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Davao Oriental, South Cotobato. If open-pit mining is not acceptable for reasons, I don’t know, then use the tunneling procedure but the country needs power generation resources. The people in Sarangani were scared for something they don’t even have a clue of. The bottom line, coal power palnts should be built using the best available technology, like CCS.

    Coal should be utilized if ever you would dream of progress without nuclear power. How do you expect investors to come when the price of electric power is so high. The intention is there but “due diligence” kill it all.

    Power should be cheap as natural gas is abound. But why do you have to let Meralco charge “transmission loss”, “exchange rate differential”, etc. The people should only pay for goods and services and not for the Meralco’s intransigence. Meralco should endeavor to improve the system for its own profitability, why penalize the people for its stupidity?

    Two other things should be free, potable water and garbage disposal. In order for garbage disposal to be continuously free, modern solid waste incinerators should be built in each of the cities. Why do they suffer other people for their waste? With incinerators, re-cycling will be practiced to the utmost and they can provide electric power to the community. 

    Please do not use China as your example. China is using old technology in coal power generation. 

    If the Philippines would build modern coal plants away from the residential centers like coastal places, pollution will be a remote complaint.

    In Canada, coal is close to nuclear power in electric generation.In the US, 44.9% comprise the coal-powered plants in electric generation.In UK, 31% is from coal.

    • Wadav

      Yes coal is cheap, but it needs a lot of water to produce a kWh of electricity! US is suffering from water shortage because of this fact! Actually they are planning of shutting down their coal power stations in lieu of renewables!

      • ghzoc

         Not to mention the countless toxins every coal plant emits.. yuck.. There had been no revolutionary progress in power generation in the past century (maybe with the miniscule exception from nuclear power). They are all steam broilers similar to the ones used in the choo-choo trains back in the 1800’s…. We really need to break free from the monopoly of fossil fuels :/

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