In February 2015, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Department of Energy launched two state-of-the-art tools focused on renewable energy development: the 2014 Wind Energy Atlas for the Philippines and the Geospatial Toolkit (GsT). Philippine officials and investors can use these powerful new tools to advance the development of clean and renewable power sources.
“These tools represent the culmination of many years of collaboration between the Philippines and the U.S. Government to develop world-class data sets, models, and tools to support clean energy development…the insights and feedback provided by our industry partners have helped improve both the quality of the tools and datasets and help to ensure that they are designed in a way that adds practical value to industry leaders,” said Zenaida Monsada, Undersecretary of Philippine Department of Energy.
Energy experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provided the technical assistance to develop the tools. “The Wind Atlas and the GsT help officials to accurately assess the most technically and economically viable opportunities for wind development,” said Dan Bilello, NREL’s Lead for the Department of State and USAID International Development Programs
The 2014 Wind Atlas employs sophisticated modeling programs and high-performance computing to analyze very large quantities of up-to-date wind resource data and provide accurate maps outlining areas for ideal wind power development.
The GsT consolidates all renewable energy data in one place, providing a one-stop source of information on resources like biomass, hydro, solar, and wind around the country. The GsT maps the resources in relation to key infrastructure, like roads and transmission lines, providing the government and private sector important information for investments in new generation.
“The Philippines GsT is the highest quality GsT we’ve built so far in terms of the level of detail in the data," Bilello said. "Wind modeling allows you to inform industry partners, to significantly reduce their own time and prospecting cost and also to inform Philippines Department of Energy on their wind development.”
The Philippines Renewable Energy Program began in 2011, setting an ambitious target to triple the country’s renewable energy output by 2030. Officials aim for wind to constitute about 24% of the renewable portfolio, resulting in 2,345 megawatts (MW) from wind by 2030. With wind generation potential in the Philippines estimated to be 76,600 MW, there is plenty of resource availability that is poised for development.
Learn more about EC-LEDS program activities in the Philippines.