President Rodrigo Duterte, ranting about international oil prices, made two false claims about solar and wind energy use in the Philippines.
In a Jan. 23 speech, Duterte claimed the country does not use solar energy and only Ilocos Norte uses wind energy:
“Ito, gawa ng langis. Maski electric. Bakit? Ang makinarya niyan gumagawa. Paano mo patakbuhin? Hangin? Walang solar. Walang wind power dito– eh Luzon, doon sa dulo ng Ilocos (That, it’s a product of oil. Even electricity. Why? Machines operate. How do you start them? Wind? There’s no solar. There’s no wind power here. [Only in] Luzon, at the far end of Ilocos).”
Government data belie Duterte’s claims.
A Department of Energy (DOE) list shows the Philippines currently has 42 operational on-grid solar power plants as of June 30, 2018: 24 in Luzon, 13 in Visayas, and five in Mindanao.
Solar power plants have been in business in the country as early as 2004.
The country’s largest operating solar plant, the two-year-old Cadiz Solar Power Plant in Negros Occidental with a maximum capacity of 132.5-megawatts, is estimated to power up over 167,500 households, as reported by the Business Mirror, Inquirer.net and SunStar Philippines.
The Renewable Energy Act of 2008 has made it state policy to develop sustainable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to “reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels” and “minimize the country’s exposure to price fluctuations in the international markets.”
Department of Energy, List of Power Plants as of June 30, 2018 (Luzon)
BusinessMirror, Ecozone seen to rise beside 132.5-MW solar-generation facility in Cadiz City, March 4, 2016
Inquirer.net, Solar farm starts feeding Visayas grid 132MW of clean power, March 5, 2016
SunStar Philippines, Cadiz solar plant stirs investments, March 4, 2016
Official Gazette, Renewable Energy Act of 2008