What's New in the Windfair World ? - WWF calls on DOE to seize the wind this 2015

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.

The 2015 United Nations Climate Conference is slated from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 this year. Among the expected outcomes are Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which are country-wide climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments.

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 percent of Philippine electricity is currently generated from fossil fuels, with 90 percent of coal and oil resources imported at varying prices from other nations.

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 was 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.

The price of imported fuels, after all, 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 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. 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.

World Willdlife Fund / Photo Credit Flicker / Global Panorama
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / by WWF Staff

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