SINGAPORE-BASED Trina Solar Energy Development Pte. Ltd. is targeting to install 5-6 megawatts (MW) of solar rooftop energy systems in Filipino homes each year as it sets its sights on the local residential market, its local manager said.
“We have quiet a bit of aggressive target in the Philippines… Usually we are given the task of at least 10% market share,” Junrhey Castro, Trina Solar country manager, told reporters in a briefing in Makati City on Tuesday.
Mr. Castro, who is also Trina Solar senior sales head for Australia and Southeast Asia, said the installation would cover both residential and commercial market segments.
Trina Solar launched its Trinahome solutions brand that focuses on residential consumers. The parent firm has previous projects in the Philippines but mostly industrial-scale development.
Mr. Castro said Trinahome offers “plug and play” residential solutions that come with warranties and backed by an international supplier.
Aside from homes, the entity also targets small to medium-sized commercial applications for distributed power generation.
“With Trinahome, we hope to give Filipinos an option to tap into a clean, sustainable and cheaper energy source,” he said, adding that its local strategy is in line with the country’s target of becoming energy self-sufficient and bringing cheaper and more reliable energy source.
Mr. Castro said the country relies for much of its power generation on coal, oil and gas that are largely imported, thus resulting in unpredictable energy prices that have “great economic impact.”
He noted the Philippines has some of the most expensive electricity prices in Asia, making the cost of power a major expense for households and businesses. He placed a Filipino’s electricity charge at around P8.5 to P9 per kilowatt-hour and accounts for a household’s major monthly spending.
Solar energy is cheaper than energy from the grid since a rooftop system become its owner’s power generation source, he said. The cost of solar has significantly declined in the past years because of new manufacturing technology and economies of scale.
A Trinahome solution is available in 1.5-kilowatt (kW), 3-kW, 5-kW and 10-kW systems depending on the size of the customer’s home and requirement. It is now commercially available in the Philippines through its approved distributors and local partners.
Mr. Castro said the country has new policies in place that would motivate consumers to go into solar, citing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Green Energy Option Program (GEOP).
RPS took effect on Dec. 30, 2017 and mandates energy sector participants to source or provide a minimum annual requirement from renewable energy (RE) resources through the trading of RE certificates.
GEOP is a voluntary program allowing end-users to choose RE resources. The program is aimed at end-users with a monthly peak demand of 100 kW and above for the past 12 months.
Trina Solar’s previous utility-scale solar projects in the Philippines include 132.5 MW in Cadiz, Negros Occidental; 80 MW also on Negros Island; 63.5 MW in Calatagan, Batangas; and 60 MW in Toledo, Cebu. — Victor V. Saulon