Philippines closes in on 1 GW PV pipeline

The pipeline for approved PV projects in the Philippines moved close to 1 GW in December as the country’s Department of Energy (DoE) stepped up its efforts to triple the nation’s renewable energy capacity by 2030. Currently, the Philippines has a renewable energy capacity of 5.6 GW. By 2030, the country hopes to reach a target of 16 GW.

Figures released from the DoE reveal that the department has awarded service contracts for a total of 38 PV projects in the Philippines this year, taking the country’s PV pipeline to 846.2 MW, of which 844.7 MW – 34 of the projects – are grid-connected projects.

The DoE is eager to top 1 GW before the end of 2013, and is in the advanced stage of pre-approving a further 259.2 MW of PV proposals spread across an additional 25 projects.

Belgium’s Enfinity renewable energy company, via its local Philippines subsidy Enfinity Philippines, has invested close to $600 millio to secure contracts for 18 of the 34 approved projects, including three or four that will begin construction in early 2014.

"Next year, three to four PV projects in Philippines should go into construction, but we might move faster than that," confirmed Enfinity Philippines president, Dennis Ibarra. The remainder of the company’s planned 18 solar projects will be completed "in the next couple of years," added Ibarra, and will each amount to 10-20 MW of PV capacity.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Mirae Asia Energy Corp. will begin construction on a 20 MW solar plant in the Ilocos Norte region of the Philippines in January next year, according to reports from Manila newspaper Business World Online. In July Mirae Asia Energy Corp. secured a certificate for the project from the DoE, and will invest $50 million in the 60-hectare project.