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23yr Old Wants To Overturn The Phils Power Industry


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mistaeric

When Leandro Leviste studied at Yale University, he heard about Elon Musk’s designs for Solarcity. Leviste had bought stocks in Tesla, Musk’s electric car brand, when they were cheap and sold them for $200 apiece at just the right time. Now he wants to cash in again: follow Musk’s mission by building the Philippine equivalent of Solarcity, which is an American company that installs solar panel systems on buildings and owns capacity to make the panels.


The 23-year-old founder of Solar Philippines has spent $100 million dollars in bank loans arranged through family connections as well as his Tesla profits to build solar “farms” and rooftop panel systems. The company provides solar power in Leviste’s homeland the Philippines, a Southeast Asian archipelago of 102 million people.


Leviste says he got into it because Filipinos pay some of Asia’s highest electricity rates but shouldn’t. Existing power providers have rigged it that way, the founder believes. The high rates contribute to poverty, an issue for 22% of the Philippine population, and deter foreign companies from investing in a country that’s otherwise on the move economically, he adds. He suspects that foreign manufacturers such as Intel INTC +0.30%and Ford Motor F -0.44% Co. left the Philippines in part because electricity rates were raising production costs.


 

“Solar has gone down so far in cost it’s even cheaper than coal,” Leviste said on the sidelines of the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Singapore last week. Rates for solar energy can go lower than the mainstream source coal by at least $0.02 in part because of the country’s regular sunny weather, he says. “Solar is cheaper than coal in the Philippines,” he gripes. “Why no one else is talking about that is beyond me.”


It’s not really beyond him. The government had offered solar energy subsidies with a deadline of March, creating what he describes as a “gold rush” that became a “ghost town” after subsidy-driven projects were done and the money disbursed. Solar Philippines is aggressively pursuing solar power now as most other wait for another round of subsidies that might not come, Leviste says.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphjennings/2016/05/25/23-year-old-on-a-mission-to-overturn-costly-philippine-power-industry/#6d3910c974a6


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When Leandro Leviste studied at Yale University, he heard about Elon Musk’s designs for Solarcity. Leviste had bought stocks in Tesla, Musk’s electric car brand, when they were cheap and sold them for

As long it lacks the storage capacity at LOW COST - to store the produced energy - solar power is too expensive !

'What it will cost you' is not what it costs. You have to figure in what sort of breaks you're getting to reduce costs, including but not limited to tax breaks, direct subsidies, as well as indirect s

samatm

The Philippines is perfect for Solar...Please Mr. Duterte help level the playing field.    Meco just issued me  12000 peso Electric bill.. and wont back down they are in error..  funny as I have never had a bill higher than 6K  and  no one used power for  1 week of the billing period.     Please mr. solar company  light us up and cool us down.

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Goetz1965

As long it lacks the storage capacity at LOW COST - to store the produced energy - solar power is too expensive !

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PhilsFan

As long it lacks the storage capacity at LOW COST - to store the produced energy - solar power is too expensive !

 

Do not need storage if grid-connected. Time to do a little reading up on Solar?

Storage prices are dropping fast...in 5-7 more years most of us here will be able to go off-grid should we choose to based on current developments. It's doable now for the dedicated.

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ex231

The Philippines is perfect for Solar...Please Mr. Duterte help level the playing field.    Meco just issued me  12000 peso Electric bill.. and wont back down they are in error..  funny as I have never had a bill higher than 6K  and  no one used power for  1 week of the billing period.     Please mr. solar company  light us up and cool us down.

Maybe your neighbors used it 4 weeks of the billing period lol

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Cipro

 

 

Do not need storage if grid-connected. Time to do a little reading up on Solar?

 

Yeah because the grid just grew magically from some grid seeds someone planted last night and has no upfront or operational costs associated with it. 

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PhilsFan

Yeah because the grid just grew magically from some grid seeds someone planted last night and has no upfront or operational costs associated with it. 

If connected to the grid of course you need to pay connection/maintainance fees...goes without saying.

 

Remember the Utility benefits from any of your excess generation as well. Minimal line losses as it can be used locally.

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Cipro

Remember the Utility benefits from any of your excess generation as well. Minimal line losses as it can be used locally.

 

To a degree, however if your excess generation along with that of your neighbors exceeds demand 'the local grid' won't do diddly sh*t for you, the energy still has to be stored. So if and when solar becomes ubiquitous 'the grid' won't do it at all. Someone will have to actually store the energy, somehow. 

 

Even if the energy can be used the variation in generation forces the utility to vary their demand for base load power, and that costs money as well; you can't just turn a hydro plant up and down on a dime without some associated costs. One of the best storage techniques I've heard is pumping the water back uphill and into the reservoir but that's far from lossless and incurs costs of it's own, not to mention the scale is limited to significantly less than the total flow of the dam. 

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PhilsFan

To a degree, however if your excess generation along with that of your neighbors exceeds demand 'the local grid' won't do diddly sh*t for you, the energy still has to be stored. So if and when solar becomes ubiquitous 'the grid' won't do it at all. Someone will have to actually store the energy, somehow. 

 

True, some days they are giving power away for free in Texas wind areas. Viable large scale storage solutions are going to take some time to develop.

In the end, utilities will dominate renewable storage/disbursement..and I think that's probably for the best.

 

Even if the energy can be used the variation in generation forces the utility to vary their demand for base load power, and that costs money as well; you can't just turn a hydro plant up and down on a dime without some associated costs. One of the best storage techniques I've heard is pumping the water back uphill and into the reservoir but that's far from lossless and incurs costs of it's own, not to mention the scale is limited to significantly less than the total flow of the dam. 

 

This may be a viable short-term solution for storage in the Phils if they can get a renewables program with some traction.

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thebob

As long it lacks the storage capacity at LOW COST - to store the produced energy - solar power is too expensive !

 

Not if you pursue a solar powered manufacturing business. Factories only need to be powered during the day.

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Cipro

Not if you pursue a solar powered manufacturing business. Factories only need to be powered during the day.

 

Well, sunny days in the summer. Or in places further from the equator, 'once in a while'.

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PhilsFan

Well, sunny days in the summer. Or in places further from the equator, 'once in a while'.

 

Yup, like Alaska....where solar production potential is simiar to Germany. 

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musicman666

What veco and a like should do is lobby (a cousin in congress) for a law to be passed so that you will need a licence to have a solar panel on your roof ....but veco themselves will be exempt ....so they can evolve their solar arm in their own good time without any competition issues to eat into their profits. I'm sure they are cooking something up right now.

Edited by musicman666
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Monsoon

Sunpower has a plant in Laguna. 

 

There are a few other things going on with solar in the PIs that I'm aware of.

 

The problem is, like most things in the Philippines, they will wait until someone else pays for it before making infrastructure improvements. 

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Cipro

Yup, like Alaska....where solar production potential is simiar to Germany. 

 

Even when it's dark for 67 days straight .....

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