Renewable Energy is key to Ph Development

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Clean and renewable energy sources like geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass and solar energy are among the country’s few competitive advantages – especially since it has no significant deposits of fossil-fuels. Its continued dependence on imported fuel has made Philippine electricity rates among the highest in Asia.

Relying more on RE has brought down the cost of electricity with fuel diversity, shielding Filipinos from price fluctuations as no fuel cost is incurred. This shows the care or Malasakit of the government, particularly coupled with increased energy access with distributed RE reaching off-grid communities.

“With the government’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2017 until 2022 now being finalized, we challenge the government to increase the share of RE to 50% by 2030,” explains WWF-Philippines climate and energy programme head Atty. Gia Ibay. “Green and sustainable development fits perfectly with the administration’s mantra of Malasakit, Pagbabago at Kaunlaran because RE provides affordable, sustainable and accessible electricity – especially for remote communities.”   More

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Climate Actions After Paris Point to Clean-Energy Transition, End Fossil Fuel Era

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El Nino Drought Effects by Gregg Yan, WWF

El Nino Drought Effects by Gregg Yan, WWF

Press Update:

“We are living in a historic moment. We are seeing the start of a global transition towards renewable energy. At the same time, we’re already witnessing irreversible impacts of climate change. The talks and surrounding commitments send a strong signal to everyone – the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. As climate impacts worsen around the world, we need seize on the current momentum and usher in a new era of cooperative action from all countries and all levels of society,” shares Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy initiative.

After two weeks of negotiations, governments reached an agreement that must urgently be strengthened and complemented with accelerated action in the near-term. While world governments finalized a global agreement last December 12 in Paris that lays the foundation for long-term efforts to fight climate change, more effort is still needed to secure a path that would limit warming to 1.5C. This new agreement should be continuously strengthened and governments will need to go back home and deliver actions at all levels to close the emissions gap, resource the energy transition and protect the most vulnerable.

More than 180 countries presented their national  pledges on climate action. With impassioned speeches from more than 150 heads of state and governments and unprecedented mobilizations around the world that included hundreds of thousands of citizens demanding action on climate change, progress was in the air.

The Paris talks also produced commitments from governments, cities and business that signaled that the world is ready for a clean-energy transition.  The finance for adaptation, loss and damage and scaled up emission reductions should be the first order of work after Paris.

“The Paris agreement is an important milestone. We made progress here, but the job is not done. We must work back home to strengthen the national actions triggered by this agreement. We need to secure faster delivery of new cooperative efforts from governments, cities, businesses and citizens to make deeper emissions cuts, resource the energy transition in developing economies and protect the poor and most vulnerable. Countries must then come back next year with an aim to rapidly implement and strengthen the commitments made here,” explains Tasneem Essop, head of WWF delegation to the UN climate talks

“The climate talks in Paris did more than produce an agreement – this moment has galvanized the global community toward large-scale collaborative action to deal with the climate problem. At the same time that a new climate deal was being agreed, more than 1,000 cities committed to 100 per cent renewable energy, an ambitious plan emerged from Africa to develop renewable energy sources by 2020, and India launched the International Solar Alliance, which includes more than 100 countries to simultaneously address energy access and climate change. These are exactly the kind of cooperative actions we need to quickly develop to complement the Paris agreement,” added Yolanda Kakabadse, president of WWF-International.

The Paris agreement needed to be fair, ambitious and transformational. Results in these key areas for WWF were mixed:

  • Create a plan to close the ambition gap, including finance and other support to accelerate action now and beyond 2020
    • The agreeement includes some of the elements of an ambition mechanism such as 5 year cycles, periodic global stock-takes for emission reduction actions, finance and adaptation, and global moments that create the opportunity for governments to enhance their actions. However, the ambition and urgency of delivering climate action is not strong enough and will essentially be dependent on governments to take fast and increased action, and non-state actors, including cities, the private sector and citizens, to continue ambitious cooperative actions and to press governments to do more.
  • Deliver support to vulnerable countries to limit climate impacts and address unavoidable damage.
    • The inclusion of a Global Goal on Adaptation as well as separate and explicit recognition for Loss and Damage are important achievements in the agreement. This goes a long way in raising the profile and importance of addressing the protection of those vulnerable to climate change. The Agreement, however, does not go far enough in securing the support necessary for the protection of the poor and vulnerable.
  • Establish a clear long-term 2050 goal to move away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy and sustainable land use.
    • By including a long-term temperature goal of well below 2C of warming and a reference to a 1.5C goal, the agreement sends a strong signal that governments are committed to being in line with science. In addition the recognition of the emissions gap and the inclusion of a quantified 2030 gigatonne goal should serve as a basis for the revision of national pledges ahead of 2020.
  • The agreement sets 2018 as a critical global moment for countries to come back to the table and take stock of their current efforts in relation to this global goal and this should result in stronger and enhanced actions on emission reductions, finance and adaptation.
  • The Paris agreement made good progress by recognizing, in a unique article, that all countries must act to halt deforestation and degradation and improve land management. The agreement also included a process that can provide guidance for land sector accounting. Adequate and predictable financial support for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation could have been stronger.

More Wind Farms, Perez Passes on Dreams to WWF New Chair Montinola

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WWF-Philippines Board Chair Aurelio Montinola III (WWF-Philippines)Press Update:

Top-ranked banker Aurelio ‘Gigi’ Montinola III stepped-up as the new Chair of the WWF-Philippines Board. Montinola is the former President and CEO of the Bank of the Philippine Islands and chairs numerous organizations, including the Far Eastern University. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1973 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1977.

Montinola was the first Filipino awardee of the highly-coveted Asian Banker’s Leadership Achievement award, regarded by bankers globally as the penultimate accolade for both the Asia-Pacific and Gulf regions. Montinola’s four decades of experience greatly enhances WWF’s ability to positive influence development and conservation in the Philippines.

Diversity is strength – and leaders of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) have long been drawn from various sectors. Scientists, educators, businessmen and conservationists have all shared their unique expertise and leadership qualities to make WWF as dynamic and multi-faceted as it is today.

“Individually, we are but one drop – but collectively, we are an ocean. We must work as one to transform our country into a living space our children will appreciate,” shared Montinola during WWF Partners’ Night, an annual gathering of top WWF supporters in the Philippines.

WWF-Philippines Council Chairman Vincent Perez (WWF-Philippines)Former Energy Minister Vincent Pérez New WWF National Advisory Council Chair

After serving with distinction as WWF-Philippines Board Chair since 2008, former Philippine Energy Minister and Alternergy CEO Vincent Pérez has assumed the chairmanship of the WWF-Philippines National Advisory Council from prominent businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who helped set-up and lead WWF-Philippines since its inception in 1996.

Pérez, a known renewable energy advocate, has served on the WWF-US National Council since 1995 and arranged numerous Debt-for-nature swaps. He was among the founders of WWF-Philippines and currently serves on the WWF International board of trustees – comprised of environmental leaders from across the globe.

“Though stepping down from the board, I still dream of more wind farms spinning clean energy,” mused Pérez. “I dream of forest plantations that grow sustainable lumber for our homes. I dream of more students committed to protecting our environment. There’s still so much to do – but through the leadership of Aurelio ‘Gigi’ Montinola, WWF and its valued partners in the Philippines will continue to catalyze these dreams into reality.”

WWF Supports FiT System to Pave the Way for RE and  Lower Electricity Costs 

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Rizal Wind Farm by Sophia Dedace & WWFWorking hard to pave the way for Renewable Energy (RE) to provide lower electricity cost to the public, WWF aligns with the government regarding its Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) system to make RE possible sooner.  Electricity rates continue to increase without any controls to keep the prices stable.  That’s the result of using fossil fuels, which we import, and puts us at the mercy of foreign suppliers.  We have to transition to RE soon to keep a cap on electricity rates.  WWF reminds us of our ideal option via RE, which may cost initially but the  country will be better off with in the future.  Short term, cheaper solutions will cost us more later on . . .  so let’s clamor for RE to happen soon.

Climate change solutions-provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reiterated its support for the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) system. The FiT guarantees Renewable Energy (RE) developers a constant generation rate per KWh over the next 20 years, with periodic reviews by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to adjust rates for foreign exchange and inflation.

Various groups recently opposed the FiT, arguing how rates might further burden consumers. However, Philippine electricity rates have historically increased faster than the FiT – due mainly to the fact that 70% of the nation’s electricity is generated from fossil-fuels, 90% of which are imported at varying prices. The International Energy Agency forecasts a steady increase in the cost of coal and oil over the next decade.

One of the country’s few competitive advantageous is its vast renewable energy resources. In the 1970s, the Philippines had the foresight to invest in indigenous geothermal power, which is now cheaper than coal. “We are a fossil-fuel poor country,” explains WWF-Philippines Climate and Energy Unit Head Atty. Gia Ibay. “Investing in RE shields us from the volatility of the fossil fuel market while taking advantage of what we have been endowed with.”

RE plants can be directly embedded onto certain key areas to further reduce the cost of electricity, eliminating the need for transmission and distribution lines to deliver electricity from power plants to households.

“The FiT paves the way for necessary RE investments. Unlike power plants which burn dirty and imported coal or oil – RE provides consistent, indigenous and clean power at a constant price for decades – especially since it has a 0% VAT rate. We believe that the FiT is a sound long-term investment for clean, cheap power,” adds Ibay.

In short, Filipinos will pay less for RE power in the long run.

Currently employing three million people globally, RE also generates more jobs. “Renewables generally provide from three to six times more jobs per unit of energy produced than either fossil-fuel or nuclear plants,” adds WWF Global Energy Policy Director Dr. Stephan Singer.

WWF Lauds Secretary Petilla for Opening Doors to Renewable Energy

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11-SPETILLA_latestPress Statement:

Investments in Renewable Energy (RE) have now become more feasible under the term of Department of Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, says clean energy advocate World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines).

At present, clean and renewable energy sources like wind farms, solar plants and geothermal facilities supply just 30% of the country’s power needs. In 2012, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) system to attract new investors. FiT is a fixed rate for electricity generated by designated RE generators, held constant for 20 years, making it safe to invest in RE.

Under Petilla’s term, RE incentives paved the way for 500MW of solar investments, both for households and commercial providers. DOE has also enabled the development of 425MW of wind power by mid-2015, making the Philippines the wind powerhouse of Southeast Asia. New directives to fast track RE contracts have dramatically cut processing time from two years to 45 days.

“WWF lauds Secretary Petilla for recognizing the importance of clean, indigenous and renewable energy to augment our country’s power mix,” says WWF-Philippines President & CEO Joel Palma, “More and more investors are fuelling the shift to RE. With strong government support, the Philippines might just become Asia’s renewable energy capital.”

New Wind Farms Prepare Ilocos Norte for 2015 Power Shortage

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Wind Farm by Gregg Yan & WWFProgress may come at a slow pass but definitely moving forward with the heed to be more environment-conscious.  People are now paying attention to the cost effectiveness and long-term positive effects utilizing nature and its powers.  The clanging and deafening noise made by greedy and selfish business men along with their Advertising and PR machinery to stop the movement towards greener options are eventually being ignored.  The truth is revealing itself despite political muffling,

Smarter businessmen can see the wisdom of working and earning while including a pro-environment stance.  Businessmen who don’t participate will eventually get left behind or close shop because they won’t be patronized by the citizens who have awakened and desire changes.  The movement is gaining momentum with signs such as the operations of wind farms in Ilocos Norte.

Climate change solutions-provider World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) welcomed the timely start of operations for the new wind farms in Guimaras and Ilocos Norte. Its Seize the Wind campaign aims to increase the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) allocation for wind energy from 200 MW to 500 MW. The new wind farms in Ilocos Norte and Panay have added 303 MW to the country’s power supply, helping cushion consumers from a projected power shortage this March.

Wind Energy Trend by WEDAPWind farms take faster to build and are becoming more economical power sources, freeing energy generation companies and consumers alike from the need to import expensive fossil-fuels like coal and oil.

Wind farms take just about a year to go online, compared with conventional fossil-fuel power plants which can take up to four years to construct. About 70% of Philippine electricity is currently generated from fossil-fuels, 90% of which are imported at varying prices. Humanity’s continued reliance on fossil-fuels is the primary cause of climate change, the impacts of which are becoming more destructive yearly.

“We are hopeful the Department of Energy shall immediately increase the wind FiT allocation,” says WWF-Philippines Climate and Energy Unit Head Atty. Gia Ibay. “In fact, based on data from the Wind Energy Development Association of the Philippines, the month with the highest wind energy output occurs during March of each year. Incidentally, this is the same month when our projected 2015 power shortage is slated to worsen. By Seizing the Wind, we can augment our power supply this 2015.”

WWF Calls on DOE Support to Seize The Wind This 2015, Lower Electricity Prices

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The Bangui Windmills by Gregg Yan & WWFToo Expensive.  This has almost always been the reaction I get from most for not giving much attention to solar and wind power. Without a response, I just keep quiet and start to wonder if this is really just an impossible goal for the majority.  But I just can’t give up on the earth just like that.  Most of us shouldn’t too, so WWF continually looks for alternative feasible solutions to help us sustain healthy environment practices.

First we need the support of those in authority and extensive influence like the Department of Energy to get the ball rolling.The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) believes that the Department of Energy (DOE) has a prime opportunity to generate an INDC by increasing the share of RE in the country’s power mix. About 70% of Philippine electricity is currently generated from fossil-fuels, with 90% of coal and oil resources imported at varying prices from other nations. In response, the DOE recently supported an increase in the installation targets for solar energy under the Feed-in Tariff regime.

The 2015 United Nations Climate Conference, which is slated from 30 November to 11 December this year, expects outcomes that include Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), country-wide climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments. World leaders gathered in Lima last month for the 20th Conference of Parties (COP 20), designed to set the stage for strong climate change agreements in Paris this 2015.

WWF believes that with the increase in solar, an additional increase in wind energy installation targets is a firm, next step that the DOE can commit to. Philippine Climate Change Commission Vice-Chair Lucille Sering last month stated that the country is committed to submit an INDC by June – the first pledge by a developing country.

Clean and renewable sources of energy such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy are among the Philippines’ few competitive advantages, especially since the country has no significant deposits of fossil-fuels. Its continued reliance on imported fuel has made Philippine electricity rates among the highest in Asia.  

Increasing RE Support Will Lower Philippine Electricity Prices

Pay close attention naysayers, non-believers, and those in doubt still, here are some facts you should be aware of as well as where we should focus our efforts as a nation.

In 2001, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) was implemented to limit the cost of electricity. At that time, the Philippine power generation mix was composed of 37.29% RE and 62.71% fossil-fuels. Unfortunately, RE share dropped to 28.37% a decade later.

The price of imported fuels fluctuates wildly. “Most of our power rate jumps were caused by generation cost hikes. With fossil-fuel prices continually rising due to dwindling supplies and soaring demand, the cost of our electricity shall rise even further. The best solution is to use existing RE resources to shield us from the cost volatility of fossil fuels,” says WWF-Philippines Climate Change Head Atty. Gia Ibay.

In 2013, WWF’s global Seize Your Power campaign called on financial institutions, private investors, pension funds and governments to avoid fossil-fuel investments and instead support clean and affordable RE sources.

RE can provide a stable source of electricity at a constant price for years, especially with the implementation of the government’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) system. Under this system, RE projects are guaranteed a rate for the electricity they produce per kWh that will be held constant for the next 20 years, with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) doing periodic reviews to adjust rates for foreign exchange and inflation.

This means that the price of RE-generated electricity will continuously become cheaper over time. Many RE plants can also be directly embedded onto certain key areas to further reduce the cost of electricity, eliminating the need for transmission and distribution lines to deliver electricity from power plants to households.

Unlike fossil-fuels where VAT is applied to add to existing cost, RE has been given a 0% VAT rate. In contrast, the International Energy Agency forecasts a steady increase in the cost of coal and other fossil-fuels over the next decade.

In short, increasing RE share will make electricity more affordable for Filipinos in the long run. WWF-Philippines aims to continue its Seize Your Power campaign by convincing both public and private sectors that RE is the primary solution to the country’s power needs. Seize the Wind, which encourages stronger support for Philippine wind farms, is its first phase.

“What better way to demonstrate leadership before the Paris talks than to show that the Philippines embraces clean and renewable sources of energy?” asks Ibay. “It’s time for us to divest from fossil-fuels and prepare for a windfall of clean and affordable power for all Filipinos!”

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