Study reveals solar rooftop cuts electricity costs, improve energy security
Rooftop solar projects are seen to reduce electricity cost in the Philippines to P2.50 per kilowatt-hour and improve national energy security, according to a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analytics.
It said rooftop solar could also trigger around $2.8 billion or P1.5 trillion in new investment in 2030. The report titled “Unlocking Rooftop Solar in the Philippines” noted that the Philippines has one of the highest-priced electricity rates in Southeast Asia, but concluded that wise and modernized policy choices could drive the uptake of solar power generation through programs that would ensure power supply and bring down prices.
“The government is in a position to change the longstanding status quo, which dis-proportionally puts fuel-price and foreign-exchange risk on consumers, while utilities and power generators remain insulated from market changes,” Sara Jane Ahmed, an IEEFA energy finance analyst and author of the report said in a news statement posted on its website.
“As a result, power suppliers have no incentive to transition away from coal and diesel or to hedge against price-change and currency risks,” she added.
The report described how the Philippines continues to lag behind in global trends toward power-sector modernization, which are gaining momentum around rapidly-declining costs and technological advances in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and distributed storage.
Ahmed said every kilowatt of installed rooftop solar would mean a reduction in the need for imported coal and diesel power. This could save the country up to $2.2 billion annually in its current account deficit and $200 million per year in diesel subsidies.
Currently, the Philippines has over 840 megawatts (MW) of solar installed but it could potentially generate up to 76,000 MW. Indeed, there is an abundant solar potential just waiting to be properly tapped. Solaready Philippines supports the report that the Philippine government can help break the logjam and finally make affordable electricity options available to everyone by enabling the uptake of cheaper, cleaner options such as rooftop solar.
Solaready PH recommends further study of the potential for renewable electrification, and development of policies and regulatory frameworks for attracting investments and private sector engagement; as well as the continued public awareness to ensure sustained political support and commitment.
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