PH defends coal use in power mix

PH defends coal use in power mix

/ 02:32 AM July 11, 2024

The government said the Philippines’ coal use could not be compared to more developed countries, like China and Indonesia, due to “significant differences” in their energy landscape.

The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a statement on Wednesday in response to a report stating that the Philippines’ dependence on coal already exceeded China and Indonesia, despite the current administration’s push to grow renewables.

The agency said the local power sector’s differences between the two countries lie in “demographic, economic and energy profiles.”


READ: Coal reliance growing in Philippines, Indonesia — report


It said that although coal continues to dominate the Philippines’ electricity mix, its power generation and emissions from coal remained “minimal.”

“While the Philippines relies heavily on coal-fired power generation, the absolute amount of generation and corresponding emissions are minimal as compared to those of China and Indonesia. Therefore, the Philippines, cannot be reasonably compared to these larger economies, which have different energy strategies and infrastructures adapted to their specific demographic and economic conditions,” the DOE said.

Citing data from the Global Energy Monitor Report as of January, the DOE said China and Indonesia have installed coal power plant capacity reaching 1,136.7 gigawatts (GW) and 51.6 GW, respectively. These figures were way higher than the Philippines’ 12.1 GW, it noted.

READ: PH to rely on coal-fired plants amid green energy push

On the gross generation mix from coal in 2021, the DOE said the three countries had a huge gap, with China leading with 5.41 million GW per hour (GWh) and Indonesia generating 189,683 GWh. The Philippines, meanwhile, generated a measly 65,052 GWh.

The Philippines’ share in the global emissions from coal accounted for just 0.5 percent, still lower than China’s 29.2 percent and Indonesia’s 2.3 percent.


More coal plants

While the DOE continues to maintain a moratorium on the development of new coal plants, four facilities approved prior to the freeze are set to go online in the next few years, according to Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara.

Three units of the Mariveles coal plant are expected to be operational within the year, while the last two phases will come online in 2028.

The remaining two units under the Masinloc project, meanwhile, would be operational next year and in 2026.

Based on a list from the DOE, the other two plants are Palm Concepcion coal-fired power plant and Misamis Oriental 2 x 135 MW Circulating Fluidized Bed coal-fired thermal power plant, with their commercial operations slated by 2026 and 2027, respectively.

The DOE official said renewables would “overtake” coal plants by 2028 as the country would focus on offshore wind.

Several countries, including the Philippines, have committed to shifting to clean energy sources, gradually cutting their dependence on coal-fired power plants amid the latter’s impact on climate change.

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The Philippines is eyeing to increase renewable energy’s share in the power mix to 35 percent by 2030 from the current 22 percent.

TAGS: Coal, Department of Energy (DOE)

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