New power plants threaten PH emission reduction
An international nongovernmental organization projected that the Philippines will invest $14 billion in new gas infrastructure in the coming years that may undermine the country’s efforts to reach its emissions reduction target.
The latest report from the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) showed that these projects if implemented, could expand the country’s current gas-fired power capacity by five-fold and curb its chances to reach its commitment to the Global Methane Pledge, which is to reduce its methane emissions by 30 percent come 2030.
To date, there are 14 project proposals in the country that would boost its gas infrastructure, one of which—the Pagbilao Combined Cycle power station—is already being constructed.
The rest are the 1,700-megawatt Batangas Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant Project, Batangas Clean Energy power station, GNPower Kauswagan LNG Combined Cycle Power Plant, Ilijan power station, Lloyds Energy power station, Lucidum LNG power station, Mariveles Gas to Power Project (Mariveles LNG), Saint Joseph Batangas power station, Santa Maria Batangas power station, SMC Global Negros Coal-Fired Power Plant Project, Stellar Dual-Fired Power Plant Project and the VEC/Brown power station.
The Global Energy Monitor said Asian countries, combined, are planning to invest $358 billion into gas, “which would postpone the region’s net-zero goal by decades and incur stranded asset risks.”
It noted that the Philippines’ reliance on coal dramatically rose between 2000 and 2020, with coal power’s operating capacity more than tripling to 10.6 gigawatts from 3.4 GW.
It was last year when the Department of Energy declared a suspension on the approval of new coal plants that were not already in the permitting pipeline. Instead, the agency said it would promote other energy sources such as renewables and natural gas.
This, according to GEM, has its downsides.
“GEM’s survey shows how Asian economies are actively transitioning from coal to gas for power, and risking the same issues that have accompanied coal,” it said.
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