DOE awards 42 new RE service contracts

by Myrna Velasco – January 20, 2016 (updated)

from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 42 new service contracts spread across various renewable energy (RE) technologies.

The department, in a statement to the media, has noted that the capacity of the proposed projects may reach up to 1,700 megawatts if all would advance to commercial developments.

Of the awarded RE service contracts, the bulk had been for solar involving 26 projects; and followed by hydro for nine propounded projects. Wind technology has four (4) new service contracts; while biomass has three contracts.

For wind, it is worth noting that these included the expansion phases 3 and 4 of the Burgos wind farm project of the Lopez group’s Energy Development Corporation.

For solar, the capacity of the planned project developments range from 10 to 90 megawatts, as culled from data provided by the energy department.

The proposed biomass developments are in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids; and the same goes with planned hydropower projects.

“These projects are on top of the additional total potential capacity of 12,128 megawatts recorded in November 2015,” the DOE has emphasized.

It further qualified that “if all these projects are aggregated and realized, the country’s installed capacity could reach up to about 20,000 MW by 2030,” – considerably higher than the target set by the National Renewable Energy Board.

In line with the country’s commitment in the climate change abatement framework of the recently concluded 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21), Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada has reiterated the country’s commitment “to increase our RE capacity and maintain a minimum of 30% share in power generation mix in the coming years.”

The department has been qualifying though that this shall include traditional RE sources such as the more mature hydro technologies as well as geothermal.

On raging questions about fuel mix policy, it has been the share of RE that was already set on a firm percentage basis. And while coal technology’s share is on the uptrend, it is the gas technology that has been tugging its way into the country’s future power mix.

Monsada has noted that with government intervention, “the country will be able to achieve its undertaking to triple installed RE capacity by 2030.”