P280B invested in renewables over last decade
MANILA -The Philippines has reaped P280 billion worth of investments since the enactment of the renewable energy (RE) law over a decade ago, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
In a report, the DOE said the figure represented the investment cost generated from the construction of new RE facilities nationwide between 2009 and 2022.
Nearly half of the total or P135 billion went to building solar power plants. Wind facilities came next with P53 billion, equivalent to a 18.9-percent share.
Companies poured in P42 billion to develop hydropower plants and another P38 billion for biomass facilities. Further, P12 billion was infused to construct geothermal plants.
“The RE capacity addition led to an estimated emission reduction of 4,365 kt (kilotons) of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2009-2022,” the report noted.
“Meanwhile, around 357,000 people were employed in renewables during the said period,” it said.
The same document showed the installed capacity from renewables reached 8,255 megawatts (MW) in the previous year, up by 4 percent from 7,914 MW the year prior.
Its share in the country’s energy mix, however, remained at 29 percent as coal-fed power plants account for 44 percent of the total, still the leading source of energy.
“The said growth was mainly attributed to the entry of new solar, biomass and hydro plants in 2022,” the agency said.
The majority of new RE facilities were located in Luzon, equivalent to 187.5 MW, mostly solar power plants.
In the Visayas, newly operational renewable plants have a capacity of 85.9 MW, dominated by biomass facilities.
Meanwhile, new renewable plants in Mindanao delivered an additional 4.4 MW of cleaner energy.
Further, the DOE said a total of 1,002 projects were awarded RE contracts with an installed capacity of 5,571 MW.
On the other hand, 786 projects with a potential capacity of 80,399 MW are still in the pre-development and development stages.
Variable RE technologies, specifically wind and solar, have a combined potential capacity of 67,046 MW.
Hydropower plants are estimated to supply 12,270.95 MW of cleaner energy while biomass plants can provide 186.23 MW.
Ocean energy has 24 MW of potential capacity from eight proposed projects.
Republic Act No. 9513, otherwise known as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, aims to further the development of RE sources in the Philippines. It has outlined various policies and programs to accelerate the use of non-conventional sources of energy.
“Accelerating RE development remains a priority of the government toward a sustainable and clean energy future. Utilizing RE reduces emissions and dependence on imported conventional energy resources,” the DOE said.
“This minimizes the country’s exposure to global price fluctuations, making the supply and delivery of electricity more stable and secure,” it added.
The government is targeting to achieve 35 percent RE share in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.
To pave the way for more investments in this space, it eased the foreign ownership of RE projects, meaning foreign entities can fully own such facilities.
Just recently, President Marcos signed Executive Order No. 21 to fast-track the development of offshore wind projects. This directive establishes the policy and administrative framework for harnessing offshore wind resources.
As stipulated in the Philippines Offshore Wind Roadmap released by World Bank, the country has 178 gigawatts of offshore wind potential capacity.