SunEdison Inc. and Aboitiz Renewables Inc., a unit of Aboitiz Power Corp., have signed an agreement to create a joint venture to develop solar power in the Philippines.
The companies aim to construct up to 300 megawatts of utility-scale solar power in the country over the next three years, according to a SunEdison press release. SunEdison has similar arrangements in India and China.
The agreement follows the country's approval of a Feed-In-Tariff system that allows companies to charge higher prices for electricity generated from renewable sources, Dow Jones Business News reported.
"We are constantly exploring new energy sources, and this exclusive agreement with SunEdison is an important milestone and a welcome addition to our current portfolio of renewable energy," said Aboitiz Power CEO Erramon Aboitiz. "Our deep knowledge of local markets, together with SunEdison's proven track record and cutting-edge technology, will enable us to rapidly achieve our goal."
Need for greater capacity
The Philippines is urging investment into power generation and renewable energy sources because of a dire need for more energy. Power consumption in the country increased 50 percent between 2002 and 2012, but energy generation capacity rose only 16 percent.
The country is currently a net energy importer and uses a large amount of coal for its energy needs, although renewable sources such as geothermal and hydropower account for a meaningful share of electricity generation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
According to a Philippine's Department of Energy press release, the government is asking the public to join in on energy conservation measures to avoid power shortages. The release urges businesses and residents to implement energy-efficient LED technology and follow best practices laid out in a DOE circular titled "Enjoining all Electricity-Consuming Sectors to Implement Demand-Side Management Program and other Energy Conservation Measures."