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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        5  April 2011

Phil. renewable energy developers criticize delay

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Renewable energy developers scored the government for the delay in the release of the tariff incentive for green power sources.

Peregrino Fernandez, Montalban Methane Power Corp. president, said that without the feed-in-tariff (FIT) the country would be unable to tap its clean indigenous energy sources.

“We have to put more focus on renewable energy development in our near-term plans, instead of prolonging our dependence on imported, dirty and volatile oil and coal,” he said.

Sly Natividad, Sunwest Water and Electric Power Co. Inc. president, said the delay in the FIT’s release would leave the country paying more money for the rising cost of imported coal and fuel.

“The increase in the cost of power is inevitable in the coming months, primarily because of the instability in the Middle East. But, should we perpetually pay for this instability, or invest our money wisely, like in building hydro power plants or wind farms, to have a more stable and diversified clean energy supply?” he said.

For almost two years, investors have been waiting for the release of the FIT rate, which would guarantee their returns as provided in the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

Last Friday, the developers were shocked at the National Renewable Energy Board’s (NREB) decision to push back the submission of its proposal to the Energy Regulatory Commission.

State-run NREB is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the law, which was crafted to spur investments in green power sources such as solar, wind, ocean, run-of-river hydroelectric power and biomass projects.

With the continued delay in the FIT, Tetchi Cruz-Capellan, Philippine Solar Power Association president, said that “the Philippines not only lost billions of dollars in green investments, it also degraded our regional standing in renewables.”

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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