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1.

Solar energy is free although there is a cost in the building of collectors and other equipment required to convert solar
energy into electricity or hot water.
2. Solar energy does not cause pollution. However, solar collectors and other associated equipment / machines are
manufactured in factories that in turn cause some pollution.
3. Solar energy can be used in remote areas where it is too expensive to extend the electricity power grid.
4. Many everyday items such as calculators and other low power consuming devices can be powered by solar energy
effectively.
5. It is estimated that the worlds oil reserves will last for 30 to 40 years. On the other hand, solar energy is infinite (forever).

1. Solar energy can only be harnessed when it is daytime and sunny.


2. Solar collectors, panels and cells are relatively expensive to manufacture although prices are falling rapidly.
3. Solar power stations can be built but they do not match the power output of similar sized conventional power stations.
They are also very expensive.
4. In countries such as the UK, the unreliable climate means that solar energy is also unreliable as a source of energy.
Cloudy skies reduce its effectiveness.
5. Large areas of land are required to capture the suns energy. Collectors are usually arranged together especially when
electricity is to be produced and used in the same location.
6. Solar power is used to charge batteries so that solar powered devices can be used at night. However, the batteries are large
and heavy and need storage space. They also need replacing from time to time.

Mindanao Blackouts: The Renewable Energy Solution


By David A. Tauli, of the Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers
It has been pointed out that enactment of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 was one of the good things done by the government, which could be used not only to
alleviate the Mindanao blackouts but to solve the problem in its entirely and into the far future. And solve it with the least rate impact on Mindanao consumers.
That is true. But the Department of Energy, in particular Sec. Jose Rene Almendras, has been blocking the implementation of the RE Act as shown in the following
events:
1. After the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) submitted to ERC in July 2011 the application for approval of the Feed-in Tariff for electricity from renewable
energy power plants, Sec. Almendras reduced the capacity of solar PV power plants for initial implementation from the 269 MW, which was recommended in the National
Renewable Energy Program when it was launched at the beginning of the P-NOY Government in June 2010, to only fifty (50) MW. He has not changed this
recommendation despite petitions sent to the government in August-September 2011 by Mindanao power stakeholders to increase the allocation for Mindanao to 100
MW of solar PV power plants in order to help alleviate the looming lack of power capacity in Mindanao.
2. Until December 2011, the DOE approved only less than ten of more than 400 applications for Renewable Energy Service Contracts that have piled up in the tables of
the DOE. Early this year, the DOE announced that Sec. Almendras has been approving RESC applications left and right. The approvals were highly selective, however,
and limited to probably only two (one on the left and one on the right) for hydro and solar PV projects. More RESC applications were disapproved by the DOE than were
approved; and the reason for disapprovals was considered unreasonable by proponents of renewable energy projects. The DOE stated that they will subject the RESC
applications to a bidding process, which is an impractical procedure because the RESC applications are merely seeking approval to carry out feasibility studies of the RE
projects. The proponents are not asking the DOE to approve the implementation of the projects, at which point a bidding process would be appropriate.
3. Sec. Almendras has publicly and vociferously opposed approval by the ERC of the Feed-in Tariff, citing the expensiveness of solar PV power plants as sufficient
reason to delay approval of the FIT. If he were reasonable in his opposition to the FIT, he would have submitted what he considers a fair level of FIT for solar PV, and

leave it to the ERC to decide on what is just and reasonable. However, he and his allies (the proponents of coal projects) in the opposition to the FIT have been
manipulating to delay or sabotage the approval of the entire FIT proposal. They even went so far as to have the RE Act revoked or declared unconstitutional because of
the inclusion in the Act of the FIT mechanism.
4. In the last quarter of 2011, Sec. Almendras went on a publicity campaign denouncing the expensiveness of solar PV power plants, and stating falsely that
implementation of solar PV projects under the FIT mechanism would be equivalent to the take-or-pay contracts that the Ramos government entered into in the 1990s in
order to end the power shortage that brought down the Philippine economy.
It appears, therefore, that the RE Act of 2008 will never get implemented while Sec. Almendras remains as Secretary of the DOE or has any position of influence in the PNOY Government.
That is bad for Mindanao because solar PV power plants are the fastest resources that could be constructed to augment the lack of electric energy in Mindanao. It will
take less than a year for solar PV plants to be made operational as against one to two years to construct a diesel power plant. And, under the RE Act of 2008, the rate
impact of 100 MW of solar PV would be less than three centavos per kilowatt-hour (the amount of addition to the monthly bill of customers in Mindanao). If 100 MW of
diesel-fueled power plants were constructed, the rate impact on Mindanao customers would range from 50 centavos to one peso per kWh.
Other government officials should overrule DOE Sec. Almendras, and work on accelerating approval by the ERC of the Feed-in Tariff for electricity from renewable energy
resources.
That would enable Mindanao to start immediately on the construction of renewable energy power plants, mainly hydro and solar PV, that would end the blackouts. The
use of RE power plants would also ensure that the rate impacts of the solution would be much less than if diesel or coal power plants were constructed in Mindanao.

Solar Philippines to Build Largest Solar Farm in Luzon


Calatagan, Batangas After pioneering the nations first large-scale solar rooftop projects, Solar Philippines claims a new frontier with the launch of
the largest solar farm in Luzon.
At the ceremonial groundbreaking of the 50 MW project in Calatagan, Batangas, attended by officials from the local and national government, Solar
Philippines President Leandro Leviste marked the event as a turning point for renewable energy in Batangas, which is home to both the nations
largest number of fossil fuel plants and various eco-tourism destinations.

President Benigno Aquino III, switched on the worlds largest mall-based solar plant, with the inauguration of SM Primes first photovoltaic
1.5MW power plant in the Philippines at SM North EDSA, in partnership with Solar Philippines.

In his address, the President lauded SMs continuing initiatives in promoting cleaner energy, citing that with this new solar rooftop project, SM is
deservedly becoming recognized for its good practices in energy and the environment.
The President also encouraged investors of renewable energy to study their options carefully and act fast, citing the example of Solar Philippines
President Leandro Leviste, who he said at 21-years old has taken it upon himself to play a role in maximizing the potential of the solar industry
through Solar Philippines.

Ang Sikat ng Solar


"Marami sa mga Pilipino ang patuloy na nangangapa sa dilim dulot ng kawalan ng kuryente. Ang ilan naman ay pagpapababa sa bayarin sa
kuryente ang pinoproblema. Sa panahong may nakaambang energy crisis na kinakaharap ang bansa, panahon na nga kaya para lalong paigtingin
ang paggamit sa solar energy? Dokumentaryo ni Twink Macaraig of TV5"
Timing is everything, Solar Philippines believes that the right time to go solar is now. We are the countrys first all-in-one solar financing, design, and
construction company. We boast of an in-house team of Solar Energy experts backed by a proven track record in the local power and construction
industries, and international solar companies. We'll be around for the systems 25-year warranty: We are a 100% Filipino company, and the only one
already maintaining a large portfolio of projects.
DAVAO CITY -- Mindanao may be assured of steady power supply beginning 2015 but rates are likely to go up starting 2016 with the
forthcoming increased reliance on fossil fuel, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) warned.
Cheap rate of electricity is not automatic with sustained source of power because it will still depend on the [energy] source, Romeo M. Montenegro, Director of MinDAs
Investment Promotions and Public Affairs Office, said.
Most of Mindanao, the Philippines second-largest island, gets its electricity from hydropower plants, which are renewable energy facilities.
Mr. Montenegro made these remarks on Tuesday, after the Mindanao grid posted a supply shortfall anew by 182 megawatts (MW) after four units with a combined output of
165 MW at the Agus complex reportedly shut down for preventive maintenance.
Another hydro plant, the Pulangi complex, is also down to an output of 100 MW from the regular 255 MW due to low water level from the source.
Based on the Web site of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Mindanao had a capacity of 1,203 MW as of Tuesday with peak demand projected to reach 1,385
MW.
Mindanao suffered one of its worst supply shortages in February to May this year after the 210-MW coal-fired power plant of Steag State Power, Inc. in Misamis Oriental
suffered a major breakdown.
Mr. Montenegro said it is crucial that Mindanao maintain a 50-50 power mix between fossil fuel and renewable energy to keep prices competitive and the island attractive to
investors.

Mindanao has the lowest electricity rates in the country. The Philippines second-largest island currently sources more than half of its energy supply from hydropower plants,
compared with the two other main island groups, Luzon and the Visayas.
Data from the National Power Corp. as of June show rates averaged P2.97 per kilowatt-hour (/kWh) in Mindanao, P4.57/kWh, in the Visayas and P5.72/kWh in Luzon.
What we have now is 60% renewable energy and 40% fossil fuel but Mindanaoans can expect a reversal of this power mix by 2016-2017 with the operation of various
coal-fired power plants, Mr. Montenegro said.
The committed projects for the next two years can reach a total of 1,859.6 megawatts (MW), of which only 105.6 MW are coming from renewable energy sources.
RENEWABLE ENERGY
Mr. Montenegro reiterated the need to quickly process the approval of proposed renewable energy projects.
Some 157 renewable energy project applications have been submitted with an aggregate power capacity of 1,699.57 MW. The list includes 115 hydropower projects, 27
solar energy, eight geothermal, and seven biomass.