The obvious benefit of wind power is that it reduces our reliance on non-renewable energy. But what you may not realize is that it can also reduce poverty. Developing countries rely on oil and coal power just as much as elsewhere, but they are far more vulnerable to the fluctuation in prices to buy those resources. And those fluctuations are becoming more dramatic.
That's partly why the Asian Development Bank is granting the Philippines $630,000 to conduct initial wind assessments, environmental impact assessments, social acceptability, and an evaluation of transmission connection issues for three proposed wind farms on the island of Luzon. The Philippines is already exerting its place as an agricultural innovator, with the recent report that the country will run pilots on the world's first genetically modified rice for commercial purposes. Now, in conjunction with the Asian Development Bank, the country will run initial tests on the feasibility of wind power as a poverty reduction strategy.
"Energy plays a vital role in economic growth and poverty reduction and ADB is playing a prominent role in helping countries like the Philippines, which are heavily reliant on imported coal and oil, to tap renewable power sources to achieve energy security and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change," said Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, Joe Yamagata.
The Philippines has set ambitious targets of increasing the country's renewable energy generating capacity to 5,300 megawatts by 2030. The country currently has only one wind power facility, as initial feasibility assessments have proved too costly to conduct. But with the Pacific location and regular monsoons, hopes are high for wind energy.
[Image: flickr user Douglas Cataylo]