DOE taps USAID expertise in crafting energy-mix policy

by Lenie LecturaAugust 12, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Department of Energy (DOE) will tap the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist the former in crafting an ideal energy-mix policy.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi recently met with members of the USAID’s Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability (B-Leaders). Among those discussed include the formulation of an optimal energy mix and the country’s local reserve requirements.

“Our main concern now is to increase the availability of quality, reliable, secure and affordable supply,” Cusi said. “We are also looking at establishing an ‘army of reserves,’ so that when there is lack of supply, we have something to rely on,” he added.

Cusi  said a team will be formed to enforce these tasks. The DOE is already coordinating with the USAID B-Leaders. Initially, a study must be conducted to review the country’s existing energy mix.

“We want to be certain on the decisions that we will make in order to entice more investments.” Cusi said.

The study will focus on the energy requirements for economic- growth trends, load consumption profiles for energy consumers, emerging energy technologies and local industry readiness, transmission configurations and network development. The team will also look into the availability of indigenous energy for ensuring stable pricing to lessen dependence on energy that is dependent on
international market prices.

Latest DOE data showed that the Philippines’s total installed generating capacity grew by 4.6 percent, from 17,944 megawatts (MW) in 2014 to 18,765 MW in 2015 equivalent to 821 MW increase. Coal-fired power plants constitute the largest share in the installed and dependable capacity last year at 32 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

Among renewable energy, hydro sources’ share remained the highest at 19 percent, the majority of which comes from the Mindanao grid.

With the feed-in-tariff incentives and continued support of the DOE and energy agencies and stakeholders, variable renewable energy, such as wind and solar, grew by 50.9 percent, or a 144-MW increase, and 616 percent (142-MW increase), respectively, from 2014 to 2015.