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SolarQuarter ASEAN had an exclusive conversation with Robert Marlon T. Pereja – Chief Operating Officer, Mspectrum, and got some deep insights into how the Philippines renewable energy sector has progressed over the years. He also told us about the current installed capacity of the company and the investment plans for the next year 2022.
- From the Philippines’ perspective, how has the Renewable Energy sector progressed over the last decade? –
Over the last decade, the Philippine Solar Industry has experienced double-digit growth due to the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program of the government from 2012 until 2016. After the discontinuation of the FIT for solar projects, the industry relied on the competitiveness of the cost of materials and optimization of the design of solar plants in order for each project to be commercially viable. There are studies that show a growth ranging from a conservative 13.4% to an aggressive 30% CAGR in the next 5 to 10 years. Definitely, the Renewable Energy Sector will continue to grow.
- Tell us about your experience with the development and financing of renewable energy projects in the Philippines?
Developing and financing renewable energy projects in the Philippines has been both challenging and rewarding. There are numerous regulatory requirements that involve various government agencies and the distribution utility or electric cooperative. A developer and/or an EPC provider has always been exposed to risks on the volatility of solar panels and dollar prices.
3. Do you think floating solar can contribute towards the attainment of the region’s renewable target? If you think that floating solar could contribute, what steps need to be taken?
Yes, floating solar can help in the attainment of the renewable energy target of any country or region. The Earth is predominantly composed of bodies of water. My personal opinion regarding this matter is that this requires three radical reforms. First, the suppliers of solar floaters should bring down their costs. Second, a Feed-In Tariff (FIT) for floating solar for at least 5 years should be implemented to encourage investments. Thirdly, regulatory compliances should be significantly streamlined.
4. Please tell us about the current installed capacity of the company and what are the investment plans for the next year 2022?
Spectrum already has 43MW of completed and ongoing projects all over the Philippines comprising 261 customers. We are looking at growing the business as much as 40% per year for the next 5 years.
5. Tell us a bit about the recent technology and cost trends in the South East Asian solar market.
The price of solar panels has increased over the last 2 years and may continue to increase. However, the drive towards renewable energy and energy efficiency will continue to create demand. We are very bullish on the growth of Microinverters as the superior choice for 230v single phase systems for homes and small to medium enterprises.