DOE official tells investors: Pour more money on power-generation projects

by Lenie Lectura – December 4, 2015

from Business Mirror

The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday strongly urged the private sector to continue investing in the power sector, as more power-generation capacity is needed by 2017 and 2018, particularly in Luzon and the Visayas.

“We need more capacity in the Luzon and Visyas grids,” Energy Undersecretary Donito Marcos said. “We urge more private investments in the energy sector, and the timely installation of the committed projects,” the DOE official said at the Energy Investment Forum. Marcos delivered the keynote speech on Energy Investment Opportunities.

From 2015 to 2020, there will be 20 power projects in Luzon that are coming online as committed by various private-sector proponents, with a total capacity of 2,397 megawatts (MW). Apart from the committed projects, there are 9,044 MW of indicative power projects in the pipeline.

Assuming that all these committed power projects will be in place as scheduled, Marcos said the Luzon grid will be requiring additional capacity in the later part of 2018, which, he said, “provides an opportunity for private-sector investors.”

In the Visayas a total of 11 projects, with a total of 675 MW, are expected to be installed until 2020, while 18 projects with a total capacity of 601 MW are in the indicative stage.

“These power plants will be mostly renewable-energy [RE] projects. Inspite of the capacities coming in, we will still be needing additional capacity by 2017. This opens an opportunity for the private sector to venture into the power business,” Marcos said.

In Mindanao a total of 16 projects, with a total of 1,920 MW, will be installed and 25 indicative projects are identified. “We would like to see these indicative projects to progress into committed power projects in the years to come,” Marcos added.

The country has a total installed capacity of 18,445 MW, with a dependable capacity of 15,838 MW.

As of Friday, 34 percent of the country’s installed power plants are provided by coal, followed by oil at 17 percent, hydro at 19 percent, natural gas at 17 percent, geothermal at 10 percent, wind at 1 percent, biomass at 0.7 percent and solar at 0.47 percent.

In terms of capacity mix of each grid, the Luzon grid has a total installed capacity of 13,516 MW, which is predominantly dependent on coal. Since January 2014 up to November 2015, a total dependable capacity of 450 MW was added to the grid, with around 229 MW of RE.

Meanwhile, the majority of the power plants running in the Visayas grid, are sourced from geothermal power at 39 percent. Coal comes next at 30 percent, followed by oil at 21 percent.

In the Mindanao grid the total installed capacity is 2,237 MW and dependable capacity is 1,860 MW. The majority of the power plants in the region run on hydro sources at 45 percent. Oil-based power plants come in next at 38 percent, followed by coal at 11 percent.

“In summary, we need more capacity in the Luzon and Visayas grids…we hope to see the infusion of investments in the coming years to be able to provide for reliable supply of electricity in the country,” Marcos said.