MARIA THERESA “TETCHI” CRUZ CAPELLAN is a newly elected Secretary-General of Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association, founder and Chairperson of Philippine Solar and Storage Energy Alliance, CEO and President of SunAsia Energy Inc. and a former Undersecretary of Department of Agriculture.
The rush to clean energy began in the Philippines in 2006 with the help of a woman who used solar energy to light 10,000 homes in the remote areas of the country.
Like many, she didn’t start out in the career she would later be famous for.
She completed her degree in Behavioral Sciences at a Catholic –run Maryknoll College, then completed her Master in International Development at Harvard University.
In 1990, she became the youngest and first woman to serve as Assistant Secretary in the Philippine Department of Agriculture for six (6) years. She became Undersecretary in 2002, a post she held for four years!
Her work as Undersecretary left a lasting legacy as she founded commodity boards notable of which are the meat, coffee, and seafoods boards. These private led organizations paved the way for strategic program like “pork-in-a-box” – a product created by the meat sector to transform sale of live animals to the marketing of high-value pork cuts. Her other achievement is the introduction of vannamei shrimp in the aquaculture sector – a move to arrest the decline of prawn production in the country.
She migrated from agriculture to energy when she was appointed as Chief of Party for the rural electrification program of the USAID-funded AMORE. After lighting 10,000 homes in Southern Philippines, she joined SunEdison USA in 2010 as Country Advisor for the Philippines. That same year, she founded the Philippine Solar Power Alliance, a not-for-profit industry association pushing for the enactment of the Renewable Energy law in the country including its implementing rules and regulations.
In 2013, she launched her own solar company – SunAsia Energy Inc – and was responsible for developing the 3rd largest power plant in the Philippines. She received the Most Outstanding Scientist Award in Singapore in 2016, and was recognized in Shanghai as the one of the 2018 World’s Developer for Solar and Storage. Recently, she concluded the partnership with the top global company BlueLeaf-Macquarrie Capital to build the largest floating solar energy portfolio of 1.2Gw in Asia.
Today, she continues to work in the renewable energy space as CEO of SunAsia Energy, Chairperson of the Philippine Solar and Storage Energy Alliance and newly elected Secretary General of Asian Photovoltaic Industry Association.
She travels around the world, serve as thought leader in conferences and conventions, relentlessly promoting the benefit of solar and how the technology helps people’s lives and save our planet.