Mindanao wants power mix reversal by 2018

by Myrna Velasco – June 12, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

With fossil fuel being the dominant technology on its power mix now, Mindanao grid indicated that it wants this reversed as early as 2018 with bets placed more on renewable energy (RE) onward project developments.

Romeo M. Montenegro, director for Investment Promotions and Public Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), noted that by giving premium to RE investments, the country would be able to achieve its clean energy agenda not just for the energy mix rebalancing of Mindanao.

He stressed that “accelerating RE projects points to a logical way forward of achieving an ideal energy mix.”

Montenegro emphasized that “Mindanao’s current energy mix of 60:40 in favor of RE will see significant reversal of 70:30 dominated by fossil fuel in 2018.” This is because of the newly developed coal plants that will bring Mindanao’s total capacity to 1,800 megawatts in the next two years. First to come on stream for this technology type had been the 300MW Therma South, Inc. coal-fed power plant of the Aboitiz group.

However, Montenegro reckoned that accelerated ventures in RE could “offset the rise of fossil and keep a balanced energy mix in Mindanao.”

Now is the time to trigger rapid RE deployment, he said.

MinDA is on brisk invitations for RE investments in Mindanao following the streamlining of business permitting processes that it institutionalized with one-stop facilitation and monitoring center with the Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS) that was set up in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development.

Via the system, MinDA said it currently tracks the progress of 284 RE projects in Mindanao, mostly in the pre-development stage and with a total potential generation capacity of 3,773 megawatts.

“Mindanao which is relatively well-endowed with renewable energy sources mostly hydro, is aiming to achieve a regime of reliable, sustainable and reasonable power,” Motenegro said.

With the government-lodged Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution under the 21st Conference of Parties on Climate Change, reviews on the Philippine energy policy is being pushed so it can further stimulate clean energy investments.