Shifting to renewables in small islands and isolated areas can provide cheap, reliable energy to more than half of the Philippine population or around 50 million people, says a new report by the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
“Access to reliable electricity is an important input to ensure healthcare and food supply through cold storage of medication and food produce or fish,” Sara Ahmed, author of the report, tells SciDev.Net.
According to the report, published this month, if the government-owned National Power Corporation’s Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG) shifts away from subsidised diesel power — widely used in remote areas and isolated islands — the savings could reach US$275 million per year.
“It is important to note that the repeated argument of limited absorptive capacity versus renewable energy sources do not apply to hybrid power systems, where diesel and PV (photovoltaic) or wind power are designed to complement each other,” said the report. “Ongoing cost and efficiency improvements for renewables will mean that renewable energy cost deflation will enable the government to reach its goal of 100 per cent electrification by 2022,” it also said.