Government to look into use of solar power

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

THE National Government is looking at supporting the installation of solar panels in private institutions and educational facilities to ease power consumption from traditional sources of energy, said President Benigno Aquino III on Friday.

During his visit to Tagbilaran City in Bohol, the President was asked about government efforts to reduce the high cost of power in the country and to produce more electricity.

He said the Department of Energy (DOE) has facilitated a new business model between suppliers of solar panels and various private and educational institutions.

In the previous business model, he said, solar panel suppliers sold their products on a one-time, lump sum basis, requiring a huge amount of investment.

“Under the new model, basically iyong masa-save ng mga school from their electricity bills will be utilized to pay for the installation of these solar panels over a period of, I think, 15 years,” he said, explaining that this scheme will have an impact on power generation.

But in the long term, the government’s thrust is to encourage investors to put up more power-generating plants, the President said, adding that, as the economy performs well, the demand for electricity will also increase.

Another plan is to encourage more competition among investors producing power and for this to be effective, there must be amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) Law, he said.

The government is also looking into putting limits to the trading range in the energy spot market, he added.

“It is a multi-pronged strategy. Umpisa muna sa generating, dagdagan. Second siguro, baka i-spread out kung paano nakukuha ang electricity, and solar is one of them. Ang third is a review of all the pertinent laws on how to encourage competition so that there will be a drive for greater efficiencies, which will redound to more reasonable prices,” the President said. (PNA)

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