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Philippines gets funding for green energy

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Manila, Philippines (UPI) Jul 8, 2010
The International Finance Corp., the lending branch of the World Bank, plans to invest more than $300 million in the Philippines power sector this year, particularly in renewable energy projects.

Jesse Ang, IFC resident representative to the Philippines said IFC was interested in funding biomass, wind and mini-hydroelectric power plants in the country.

Ang said IFC is currently talking with various renewable energy developers.

"There's a lot of interest in the Philippines right now for renewable energy," he told reporters Wednesday, the Manila Business Mirror reported.

He noted that while hydropower involves a higher capital expenditure, the operating costs are low and it is a good deliverer of power.

IFC investments in the Philippines during the last few years have totaled $900 million, with half or more of that amount going toward the power sector.

William Beloe, IFC head of advisory services and sustainability program manager for the Philippines, said the agency and the Philippines Department of Energy estimate there are about $8 billion worth of financing opportunities available and needed in renewable energy as well as in energy efficiency.

Ang said that IFC would provide funding and expertise to Philippine banks so that they can provide capital to renewable-energy and energy efficiency projects in the country.

The agency's sustainable-energy finance program is based on the concept that financing sustainable-energy projects represents good business sense while also helping to combat climate change, he said.

As part of its initiative, the IFC will also work with end users and service and technology providers as well as regulatory authorities to promote a policy environment that is conducive to sustainable energy investment.

In its June report, "Energy Revolution: A Sustainable Energy Outlook," Greenpeace stated that the Philippines was second only to the United States in geothermal energy production, with 1,900 megawatts of installed capacity, while the United States has 3,000 megawatts.

The Philippines also has the largest wind farm in Southeast Asia -- the 33-megawatt Bangui Bay wind farm operated by Northwind Power Development Corp.

Niels Jacobsen, head of the Wind Energy Development Association of the Philippines and president and chief executive officer of Northwind Power, the company that built Bangui, said he believes the success of the wind farm can be replicated throughout the country.

"As the Philippines and, indeed, the whole world struggle to find a sustainable source of clean and competitively priced power, the local potential of wind power cannot be ignored," said WEDAP last month.

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