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Solar Philippines exports to exceed 10B by 2018

The Philippines will soon become one of the world’s leading exporters of solar panels. At the sidelines of IBC Asia’s Power and Electricity Week, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste noted the company will soon begin exporting solar panels worth over 10 billion pesos by next year.

“We don’t measure success in terms of profits or revenues, but the jobs we create. While margins are no more than a few percentage points, this will result in 1000 direct jobs for Filipinos this year, and many more direct and indirect jobs by next year, in line with President Duterte’s drive for manufacturing to improve the lives of our countrymen.”

In March, Solar Philippines began operating the first Philippine-owned solar factory in Batangas, which will ramp up to 800 MW within the year. The company aims to expand to over 2000 MW of annual capacity, and become the world’s largest non-Chinese solar panel manufacturer.

Solar Philippines entered solar manufacturing last year, after SunPower, a US solar company, shut down two of its factories in the Philippines. Since then, Solar Philippines has assembled a team of Filipinos experienced in manufacturing solar panels in line with world-class standards, and passed the requirements of international certification bodies.

Solar Philippines owns the factory and is selling its production to Chinese companies seeking to manufacture solar panels from Southeast Asia for export to the US and Europe, where governments imposed tariffs on solar panels made in China. Such is possible because current regulations in the US and Europe favor solar imports from Southeast Asia over China, but may be subject to change.

“Exporting solar panels is not a viable business in itself, as global demand and regulations can change overnight. However, we took the risk on this factory, because even if the global market fizzles, we have our own projects that we can supply. This has allowed us to fully book our capacity for 2017, and build economies of scale to make our costs globally competitive.”

Vertical integration has enabled Solar Philippines to make solar the lowest cost power in the Philippines. It recently submitted a proposal to the country’s electric utilities for 5000 MW of solar with batteries at 30% lower cost than coal. It hopes coal companies will reconsider their plans, not only in the interest of Filipinos, but also because coal is no longer a viable investment, in line with Bloomberg’s estimates that 86% of planned coal plants globally will be canceled in the coming years.

Solar Philippines aims to construct 1000 MW of solar projects by 2018, around half of which will be in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, the US, and sub-Saharan Africa. It will complete its first international projects and first Solar-Battery projects in the Philippines this year, which it hopes will show that solar can supply reliable power at lower cost than coal in the Philippines.

“Around the world, our customers are going solar because they know the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end. We are optimistic Filipinos will also soon realize this, and recognize that the Philippines can become the leader in this global energy transition,” Leviste said.

The Philippines will soon become one of the world’s leading exporters of solar panels. At the sidelines of IBC Asia’s Power and Electricity Week, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste noted the company will soon begin exporting solar panels worth over 10 billion pesos by next year.

“We don’t measure success in terms of profits or revenues, but the jobs we create. While margins are no more than a few percentage points, this will result in 1000 direct jobs for Filipinos this year, and many more direct and indirect jobs by next year, in line with President Duterte’s drive for manufacturing to improve the lives of our countrymen.”

In March, Solar Philippines began operating the first Philippine-owned solar factory in Batangas, which will ramp up to 800 MW within the year. The company aims to expand to over 2000 MW of annual capacity, and become the world’s largest non-Chinese solar panel manufacturer.

Solar Philippines entered solar manufacturing last year, after SunPower, a US solar company, shut down two of its factories in the Philippines. Since then, Solar Philippines has assembled a team of Filipinos experienced in manufacturing solar panels in line with world-class standards, and passed the requirements of international certification bodies.

Solar Philippines owns the factory and is selling its production to Chinese companies seeking to manufacture solar panels from Southeast Asia for export to the US and Europe, where governments imposed tariffs on solar panels made in China. Such is possible because current regulations in the US and Europe favor solar imports from Southeast Asia over China, but may be subject to change.

“Exporting solar panels is not a viable business in itself, as global demand and regulations can change overnight. However, we took the risk on this factory, because even if the global market fizzles, we have our own projects that we can supply. This has allowed us to fully book our capacity for 2017, and build economies of scale to make our costs globally competitive.”

Vertical integration has enabled Solar Philippines to make solar the lowest cost power in the Philippines. It recently submitted a proposal to the country’s electric utilities for 5000 MW of solar with batteries at 30% lower cost than coal. It hopes coal companies will reconsider their plans, not only in the interest of Filipinos, but also because coal is no longer a viable investment, in line with Bloomberg’s estimates that 86% of planned coal plants globally will be canceled in the coming years.

Solar Philippines aims to construct 1000 MW of solar projects by 2018, around half of which will be in Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, the US, and sub-Saharan Africa. It will complete its first international projects and first Solar-Battery projects in the Philippines this year, which it hopes will show that solar can supply reliable power at lower cost than coal in the Philippines.

“Around the world, our customers are going solar because they know the era of fossil fuels is coming to an end. We are optimistic Filipinos will also soon realize this, and recognize that the Philippines can become the leader in this global energy transition,” Leviste said.

Solar Philippines assembled a team of Filipinos experienced in solar manufacturing at world-class standards, after a US solar company shut down its two factories in the Philippines in the Philippines last year.