DoE commits to increase PH geothermal output, to tap NZ expertise
The Department of Energy (DoE) is looking to accelerate the development of about 2,000 megawatts of the country’s geothermal resources.
This will require investments of as much as $8 billion (roughly P344 billion), according to the DoE.
These estimates were based on the global rule of thumb that $2 million to $4 million is needed to produce a megawatt of geothermal power, from the development of the steam field to the operation of a power plant.
On the sidelines of the geothermal forum on Wednesday hosted by the New Zealand Embassy, Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Amendras said the DoE planned to tap the expertise of New Zealand firms in maximizing the country’s indigenous resources.
“My dream is to generate an additional 2,000 MW of geothermal power in the Philippines and [New Zealand] coming over will be helpful in achieving that on an investment and technical perspective because they have the experience, they have the expertise, in the same manner that we have the experience, we have the expertise. Two heads are better than one, so if we all come together and work, I think we can accelerate the development of geothermal resources in the Philippines,” Almendras said.
The country’s installed geothermal capacity stands at 1,966 MW. The initial target, based on the National Renewable Energy Program, is to increase this by 75 percent, or 1,495 MW, by 2030.
This additional capacity is expected to generate about P202 billion worth of investments for the Philippines.
According to Almendras, both the Philippines and New Zealand want greater cooperation.
“We’re going to bring NZ geothermal companies closer to Philippine geothermal companies. We are writing them to come see the opportunities here, while they are also inviting us to go look at the opportunities there,” he said.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully noted that New Zealand had world-class expertise in geothermal energy and had longstanding ties with the Philippine geothermal industry.
“In a world that seeks renewable energy sources to meet future demand, this is a natural sector for cooperation between our countries,” McCully said.
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