Renewable energy is the priority

Its good to know there are already 304 contracts issued by the Philippine Department of Energy for energy producers to generate over 7,000 MW of power. This is compared to contract for coal production of 1,935 MW. Let’s hope these contracts are actually converted to reality to provide the needed cleaner and hopefully stable power required by the country. Maybe cheaper too.


RE, not coal, is energy department’s focus—Almendras


Monday, June 25th, 2012

The Department of Energy (DoE) on Monday announced that the capacity that could be generated from renewable energy (RE) sources has been growing, refuting critics’ claims that the agency has been “prioritizing” coal-fired power plants.

The DoE said that, to date, it has awarded 304 RE contracts that would generate 7,843.65 megawatts (MW) in capacity.

“This is significantly a lot more than the coal-fired power plants’ generating capacity totaling 1,935 MW as of end-June 2012 endorsed by the DOE,” the department said.

In addition, the share of green energy in power generation, in terms of installed capacity, stood at 58.2 percent in 2011, from the 55.1 percent of 2010, the DoE said.

Of the country’s total energy mix, the share of renewable energy sources likewise increased to 28.4 percent in 2011 from the 26.3 percent of the previous year.

These numbers show that from 2010 to 2011, the Philippines has been increasing its green generation capacities, the DoE said.

“There are very few countries in the world that can stand up and say that 58.2 percent of their power is green. As a matter of fact, UNIDO [United Nations Industrial Development Organization] has set a target of 30 percent renewable by 2030. Clearly, the Philippines is way ahead of this target,” Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras said.

Due to the renewed confidence in the Aquino administration, as clearly evidenced by the economic numbers, electricity consumption has grown faster now than the last 10 years, Almendras said.

Power distributor Meralco, for example, announced that their year-on-year growth is now at 10 percent, and leading the increase is the industrial sector, which rose by 13.4 percent.

This double-digit growth in electricity consumption has not been seen in years, Almendras said, explaining that the average growth in the past 10 years was 4.3 percent.

“All of these indicate that we must increase baseload generation to meet the increased consumption of electricity so as not to stifle economic growth,” the energy chief said.

“Then there is the other challenge of keeping electricity rates low; therefore we must increase generation capacity using the lowest cost technologies to meet the short- to medium-term needs.”

Almendras believes that sustainable options will become “more economically viable” due to advancements in technology.

“It is precisely why the DOE sees more RE and green options taking the lead by 2017 and beyond,” he said. “We are not restraining the growth of green and renewable generation. We just need to consider when these capacities will be available. While waiting for them to be available, we must explore other technologies.”

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