However, 23-year old Leandro Leviste, founder of Solar Philippines is convinced that renewable energy, particularly solar, can be an affordable source of energy for the Philippines today, even without subsidies.
"The cost of electricity in the Philippines is twice the cost as it is other countries, while the cost of a solar panel is the same cost here as it is in other countries. You take the solar panel costs in other countries, put them here, and solar is just significantly cheaper than even coal," Leviste says.
"I think that it's just obvious, that solar is in fact going to disrupt the entire power industry in Philippines, which is the most expensive and inefficient in Asia," he says.
Leviste's company already has a solar farm in Batangas province, and wants to prove solar energy's viability by building a new 150 megawatt solar farm in the north of Manila, by the first quarter of next year.
"The solar farm will have batteries, to smoothen the output of intermittent renewable energy plants, and it will be cheaper than coal. Our claim is that, rather than strapping our country's energy supplies to 20 more years of dirty fossil fuel, we have a cleaner alternative," he said
Zubiri, who recently returned to the Philippine senate after his resignation in 2011, wants to continue to push his green agenda in his next six years in office.
"After a few years of its actual implementation, we see a lot of bottlenecks for the developers and the consumers. There are agencies with overlapping functions, so coming back as a senator, I'm going to look at the amendments to the law, or to the rules and regulations, because there's still a lot of tweaking that can be done," he says.
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