PH eyes to produce 10,000 MW from renewable energy

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2013 08:06 PM | Updated as of May 22 2013 04:06 AM

MANILA - The government aims to generate 10,000 megawatts of power sourced from renewable energy by 2030, despite this being relatively more expensive than fossil fuels.

Department of Energy Director Mario Marasigan explained power from renewable energy will eventually be cheaper since its price will be pegged in the next 20 years while fossil fuels like diesel, bunker or coal are the ones that will get more expensive.

Speaking during a forum on Renewable Energy Grid Impact Week, Marasigan said the DOE has already given its go-signal to three wind projects to proceed commercial operations in its bid to slowly reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.

These projects include Alternergy's 67.5-MW facility in Pililia, Rizal, Energy Development Corp.'s 87-MW wind farm in Ilocos Norte and Trans Asia's wind farm in Guimaras.

Marasigan noted that while there is great potential in the Philippines, the main hurdle is social acceptance, technology and cost or pricing of power.

Grid integration expert Markus Poller, speaking at the same forum, said the way to go is renewable energy since the fossil fuels are likely to be depleted in the coming decades. He stressed renewable energy sources are indigenous resources not affected by outside forces.

According to Poller, everyone should also think about protecting the environment and preserve what's left of it for the future generation.

He cited Germany, for example, which is way advanced in terms of utilizing renewable energy as it produces 35,000 megawatts of wind power and 30,000 megawatts of solar power. The Philippines, on the other hand, only has 33 megawatts from wind power and 1 megawatt from solar.

But overall, the Philippines has around 38% to 39% renewable energy in its electricity mix due to the abundance of geothermal and hydro power, which are also renewable sources of electricity.