SINGAPORE’s Trina Solar Energy Development Pte. Ltd. said it expects the Philippine market for solar power to boom this year, declaring the industry capable of taking over the role played by more conventional energy sources.

“(The solar power industry) can really take over (from) traditional energy sources,” according to Todd Li, president of Trina Solar Asia Pacific, at a virtual briefing on Wednesday, citing the declining cost of generating electricity from solar.

“When I joined this industry around 2009-2010, the modules cost more than $3 a watt, and if we look at the price today, it has dramatically decreased over the last 10 years. But raw supply issues may affect (the rate at which costs decline). But if supply can be sustained, the cost of not only the solar modules, but of (the power generated) will continuously decline,” he said.

Mr. Li said that global installations of solar power last year amounted to 170-180 gigawatts (GW), with the supply chain capable of supporting around 250 GW-300 GW.

“Next year, we see (sufficient) supply,” he said.

Trina Solar launched on Wednesday its latest Vertex 670-watt module, which promises output enhancement of up to 34% compared with older systems, resulting in about 1.2% additional savings for residential solar users.

Mr. Li said over the next five years, it aims to focus on large-scale commercial and industrial projects, which it called the main driver of growth in the solar market.

Trina is also open to collaborating with more Philippine solar companies, following a current tieup with Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings, Inc.

Trina has a goal of installing 1.5 GW of solar power a year in the Philippines over the next 10-20 years.

In 2020, the Philippines’ power generation mix consisted of 57% coal-fired facilities, 21% renewable energy, 19% natural gas, and 2% oil. — Marielle C. Lucenio