By Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

Wind Energy Atlas to guide investment in renewable energy

Posted on February 19, 2015

THE GOVERNMENT hopes to attract more private firms to venture into wind energy with the release of a guide that identifies prospective areas for the development of the resource.

A woman gathers pebbles beneath a row of windmills on Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte. -- AFP
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Philippine Department of Energy (DoE) yesterday launched the 2014 Wind Energy Atlas for the Philippines.

DoE Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada said the atlas -- which will be available online for free -- contains updated wind resource maps and related data that can be used in prospective project developments.

USAID tapped the US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to come up with the atlas, which Ms. Monsada said, will support not only government planning but also encourage industry investment in the wind energy sector.

“The new wind atlas greatly expanded and updated the old wind resource atlas last published in 2001,” Ms. Monsada said on the sidelines of the launch in Makati City yesterday.

“The document included up to date resource modeling techniques as well as the turbine technologies over the past decade,” she added.

The initiative, according to the official, supports the government’s goal of promoting wind development and attracting more investment.

“We hope that this initiative will not only support our internal causes but also contribute internationally in the promotion of low carbon emitting technologies,” said Ms. Monsada.

“It will similarly help our partners identify potential areas where wind development is feasible,” she added.

The official said the Philippines is the first Asian country to access renewable energy (RE) data sets online.

The data sets contained in the guidebook also have a geospatial toolkit, which is designed to facilitate energy policy development, investment and education.

“The tool creates user-friendly, dynamic maps, and analysis of renewable resources, including biomass solar and wind,” according to a brief released by USAID.

The USAID and the Philippine DoE have been coordinating to promote RE in the country.

Through the Building Low Emissions Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability Project (B-LEADERS), the USAID conducted a hands-on workshop with the DoE on the new wind resource atlas.