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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

PH seen to have world’s 8th largest solar, wind capacity

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The Philippines ranks eighth in terms of largest prospective capacity from utility-scale solar and wind power worldwide with its planned 99,000 megawatts worth of renewable energy projects to meet future demand, according to a report by Global Energy Monitor (GEM).

GEM develops and shares information in support of the worldwide movement for clean energy. By studying the evolving international energy landscape, creating databases, reports and interactive tools that enhance understanding, GEM seeks to build an open guide to the world’s energy system.

“The Philippines and Vietnam have 99 GW and 86 GW, respectively, of prospective utility-scale solar and wind power, which add up to 80 percent of the [ASEAN] region’s total, and represent the eighth- and ninth-largest prospective capacity worldwide,” the report said.

It said utility-scale solar and wind capacity in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was up by a fifth from last year, and the region was on track to easily meet its upcoming renewables commitments ahead of schedule.

GEM said, however, the lack of progress in breaking ground on new projects, coupled with a challenging regulatory environment for renewables and continued reliance on fossil fuels, posed an uphill path to a clean energy transition.

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“The growth of renewables across the region is impressive, but so much more can be achieved. With the world now aiming to triple renewables capacity by 2030, governments need to make it easier to bring wind and solar power online. Switching to renewables now from coal and gas will save countries time and money on the path to a clean energy future,” GEM researcher and the report’s lead author Janna Smith said.

The report cited data from the Global Solar and Wind Power Trackers which showed that ASEAN countries grew their utility-scale solar and wind capacity 20 percent in the last year to over 28 GW.

GEM said Vietnam has the largest share of operating utility-scale solar and wind capacity in the region at 19 GW, followed by Thailand and the Philippines each with 3 GW.

The ASEAN region also boasts nearly five times more prospective offshore wind power (124 GW) than onshore, which amounts to nearly twice the current offshore operating capacity worldwide (69 GW).

“Yet despite an impressive pipeline of prospective projects, only a fraction of this capacity is currently under construction [6 GW or 3 percent — one quarter of the global average],” it said.

It said ASEAN countries only needed to add an additional 10.7 GW of utility-scale projects on top of what is already in construction to meet the goal of 35-percent installed renewables capacity by 2025.

“With 23 GW set to become operational by 2025, the region is likely to far surpass this milestone,” the report said.

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