Luzon needs additional 5,000 MW by 2030 — DoE

by Alena Mae S. Flores – July 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Luzon grid will need an additional 5,000 megawatts by 2030 to support economic growth in the next 15 years, an official of the Energy Department said Wednesday.

Energy Undersecretary Mylene Capongol said the forecast was based on the 2015-2030 Distribution Development Plans of 140 distribution utilities nationwide.

She said aside from the Luzon grid, the Visayas grid would need 1,300 MW while Mindanao grid would require around 900 MW of new generation capacity.

“The new administration targets GDP growth of 6 percent to 7 percent in 2016, 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in 2017 and 7 percent to 8 percent until 2022 with most of the spending expected to support higher infrastructure needed to deliver basic services to the people,” Capongol told participants of the 4th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week Forum organized by IBC Asia

“Thus higher growth for energy use specifically for electricity is expected, entailing significant amount of investments mainly coming from the private sector,” Capongcol said.

Capongcol said in terms of electricity production, a high dependency on coal was recorded at 44 percent as of March 2016. Natural gas and renewable energy supplied 22 percent and 25 percent, respectively during the period.

“While we saw significant growth in the use of variable renewable energy due to the different incentives provided by the Renewable Energy Act, the supply of electricity from hydro had been adversely affected by the El Niño phenomenon registering a 1-percent decline over the past five years,” she said.

Capongcol said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had asked the department to ensure the provision of basic services especially electricity that was crucial in setting economic development in the countryside.

She said that barely a month in office, Cusi was  able to solve the electricity connection problems of 576 households in marginalized areas in Manila and Bulacan, allowing for their more transparent power sourcing.

Capongcol said that in terms of energy mix, oil accounted for around 31 percent in 2015, followed by coal with 23 percent, geothermal with 19 percent, natural gas and hydro with 10 percent and other renewable energy such as biomass, solar and wind with 17 percent.

She said more than 53 percent of the country’s total energy requirement was supplied by indigenous energy while 47 percent was from imported oil, mainly used for transport and coal for generating electricity.

Capongcol said for the upstream oil and gas development, the department would continue the conduct of the Philippine Energy Contracting Round with a target of 18 service contracts for award until 2030.

The service contracts will form part of the petroleum reserves estimated at 94.74 million barrels of oil, 3.96 trillion cubic feet of gas and 41.34 million barrels of condensate.

“In terms of indigenous coal, we are monitoring 48 exploration service contracts for declaration of additional coal reserves in commercial quantity [mineable] to enable the conversion of these service contracts to development/production contracts. With this, we estimated the in-situ coal reserves to reach 4,297.7 MMMT by 2030,” Capongcol said.