Latest Technology News in the Philippines

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Schneider Electric has become the latest international player in the solar industry to highlight the potential for PV in the Philippines, according to remarks made by a senior executive for the company.

Serge Goldenberg, senior vice president of Schneider Electric’s solar business, told the audience last week at the Philippine Solar Summit that distributing energy from solar panels to electricity networks was a challenge, but said that the country could become “a basis for other island nations who wish to adopt the same system”.

Specialising in energy management and automation, Schneider has upped its involvement in the Philippines recently, including winning a 100MW balance of systems (BoS) supply contract in June. The company claims to have ongoing projects in three regions of the Philippines and is involved with remote and off-grid installations including telecoms stations and rural electrification programmes.

“The archipelagic geology of the Philippines poses unique challenges in distributing energy produced from solar plants, but aside from that, adapting a solar energy system for the country is not far-fetched, ” Goldenberg said.

“We believe that with the right energy management technology, a solar power system built and developed in the Philippines has the potential to become a basis for other island nations who wish to adopt the same system.”

In recent months, other major PV companies have shown their interest in the potential of solar in the Philippines. Vertically integrated US utility-scale thin-film firm First Solar has set up a JV to take on the country’s commerical/industrial solar market, for example, while China’s ET Solar announced its first project there, a 70MWp plant, in April. Earlier this month, Theresa Cruz-Capellan, chief executive of the Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA), told Reuters that the trade body wanted the current FiT ceiling of 500MW quadrupled to around 2GW.

Additionally, the energy storage division of AES Corporation is reportedly installing a number of large-scale energy storage batteries across the islands, while last week a representative of French independent energy company Neoen mentioned the Philippines, along with Australia, as an Asia-Pacific region holding great potential for replacing diesel use in remote locations with solar-plus-storage solutions.

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