MANILA — The Asian Development Bank has agreed to provide technical assistance to the Philippines for its wind energy development road map.
In its Quantum Leap in Wind Power Development in Asia and the Pacific project, the ADB said it will also assess wind resources in the Philippines along with three countries, namely Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
ADB said the project, approved in December, is aimed at improving capacity in participating governments “to achieve wind power targets through road maps and faster wind power development facilitated through accurate wind resource data, feasibility studies and business models.”
Energy Undersecretary Jay Layug said government is promoting wind energy development due to the country’s strong wind potential.
He acknowledged, however, that there is a need to update the existing study conducted by the U.S.-National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
NREL conducted a study in 1999 which showed that over 10,000 square kilometers of windy land areas estimated to exist with a good-to-excellent wind resource potential in the country.
Using conservative assumptions of about seven megawatt per sq. km., this windy land areas could theoretically support over 70,000 MW of potential installed capacity.
“There is a proposal for ADB to help us with our wind resource mapping. But that is precisely the reason behind the service contract, which is they should conduct their feasibility study,” Layug said.
Layug said several wind service contracts surrendered their contracts to the department due to insufficient wind resource.
“Remember we awarded 227 contracts and then we sent show cause letter to 60 of them. Many of them surrendered [their contracts] because it wasn’t viable. Under our service contract, two years feasibility study, so the two years fell last year last year. Based on their wind mass data as an example, there was no wind or it was not strong enough,” Layug said.
Layug said wind service contractors would still have to conduct their own feasibility study even if there will be a new wind resource map.
“Even if we have a study, they have to validate that,” he said.
The Department of Energy (DOE) received a proposal from the Chinese government in 2010 to draw up an updated wind resource map. But the project did not push through.
DOE has already approved more than 700 megawatts of wind projects last year alone. (PNA)