WorldWideFund-for-NaturePhilippinesMANILA — The World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) is backing wind power to the hilt and cites the experience of Ilocos Norte as the best argument for expanding renewable energy (RE) generation nationwide.

WWF said the windmills in Bangui, Ilocos Norte now generate 40 percent of the province’s entire electricity requirement, which means that the power used to run rice mills, cold storage facilities and post-harvest equipment like dryers are sourced from RE.

The environmental group claimed that the wider use of wind-generated power augurs well for the country’s commitment to craft the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which are country-wide climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments.

INDC will be submitted by June 2015, Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairperson Lucille Sering said, and it will be the first to be filed before the 2015 UN Climate Conference slated for November 30 to December 11.

World leaders gathered in Lima in recently for the 20th Conference of Parties (COP 20), and set the tenor for the Paris meeting later this year.

By increasing the RE share, WWF-Philippines said the Department of Energy (DOE) gets the best opportunity to generate an INDC by increasing the share of RE in the country’s power mix.

Fossil fuels, whose prices fluctuate erratically, account for 70 percent of the Philippine power generation and 90 percent of the coal and oil used come from foreign countries.

Since the DOE recently supported an increase in the installation targets for solar energy under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) regime, WWF believed an additional increase in wind energy installation targets is a firm, next step the department can commit to.

The Philippines has abundant RE sources like geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy and these must be exploited in the light of the failure of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) to reduce energy costs in the last 14 years.

Epira has proven to be the harbinger of higher power rates, with Philippine energy costs the second highest in all of Asia.

In 2001, when Epira too effect, the power generation mix was 37.29 percent RE and 62.71 percent fossil-fuels.