WWF backs push for more wind power
Environmental group World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is supporting efforts to increase wind power allocation in the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme that gives incentives to renewable energy investments in the Philippines.
Despite the intermittence of wind power generation, this renewable energy resource can inject 500 megawatts of energy into the country’s power system, WWF-Philippines Climate Change Unit head Gia Ibay said.
This can be done without the risk of blackouts or interruptions, Ibay said, citing a 2013 World Bank and Australia AusAid report on the Grid Impact of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) for the Philippines.
WWF-Philippines is spearheading the Seize the Wind campaign to increase the FIT allocation for wind energy from 200 MW to 500 MW before the end of summer.
Wind produces free, clean power throughout the year with the highest production during November to April’s amihan season.
The Seize the Wind campaign fully supports the construction of new wind farms to augment the national power supply and overcome the country’s power deficit.
About 400 MW of wind power will be added to the national grid by April 2015.
Data from the industry group Wind Energy Developers Association of the Philippines (WEDAP) showed average hourly wind energy production during the amihan season from October to March.
Daily energy production peaks from 11 AM to 2 PM and 6 PM to 9 PM. These two peaks coincide with the highest daily demands for power.
A country’s national grid should have a power reserve capacity equal to or larger than its biggest power plant. This reserve prevents blackouts, even if the grid’s biggest plant shuts down.
The 500 MW of wind provided by new wind farms in Ilocos, Rizal and Panay, is smaller than the grid’s reserve requirements, so even with their variable nature, they will not affect the grid negatively, Ibay said, citing the AusAid study.
According to the study, there will also be no grid constraint problems regarding the time of day that wind farms feed energy into the system because wind production peaks when demand is at its highest.
“This means that all generated energy will be consumed. This dispels fears of creating ’over-contracted’ energy which goes to waste,” Ibay said.
About 70 percent of Philippine electricity is currently generated from fossil fuels, 90 percent of which are imported at varying prices.