From the WWF via Eco-Portal, news that Southeast Asia’s first wind farm has gone online in the Philipines. With a fast-growing economy, the shift to renewable energy in the part of the world is a major step forward.
“The future of Southeast Asian wind power starts here,” said Atty Ferdinand Dumlao, chairman of NorthWind [Power Development Corporation, a partner in the project]. “We see huge potential for this technology in the Philippines and beyond.”
WWF estimates that the Philippines could save US$2.9 billion in avoided fossil-fuel imports over the next ten years if the country’s vast renewable energy resources are tapped. According to an analysis done by WWF’s PowerSwitch! campaign, the wind resource potential could be as much as 7,400MW in the Philippines, enough to power 19 million homes.
This potential is already under development. Later this year, the Philippines National Oil Company will start constructing a 40MW wind farm near to the Northwind site. Smith-Bell RESCO will soon start the construction of a 30MW wind farm in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. And WWF, in collaboration with private sector partners, is also developing two wind farms in Panay.
I’m assuming (correct me if I’m wrong) that the Philipines would have to import much of the fossil fuels that power the island. If so, this seems a particularly significant step.