Renewable energy projects rising

by Alena Mae S. Flores – March 21, 2017 at 09:01 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department has awarded 755 renewable energy projects with a potential generation capacity of 16,948 megawatts as of end December 2016.

Latest records from the department showed hydro power obtained the biggest number of approvals with 413 projects and with a potential combined capacity of 10,792.37 MW.

Solar projects followed with 150 projects approved with a potential capacity of 4,077.22 MW.

Wind projects came next with 58 projects approved and equivalent to a potential output of 1,038.95 MW, and geothermal with 43 projects involving a potential capacity of 684 MW.

Biomass followed with 45 projects approved with a potential capacity of 312.38 MW and ocean energy with seven projects approved equivalent to a potential output of 26 MW.

The department has nearly 4,000 MW of projects pending approval, indicating continuing interest in the country’s renewable energy industry.

Of the pending projects, 201 involve solar with a capacity of 2,130.8 MW, 88 hydro at 1,484.02 MW, 22 wind stations with 260 MW, three geothermal project with a combined 60-MW capacity and six biomass projects with a 43-MW output.

A department data showed the country’s power generation capacity mix remained driven by coal-fired power plants last year but renewable energy was fast catching up.

Coal’s share in the capacity mix was placed at 36.5 percent for a total dependable capacity of 4,970 megawatts in 2016.

Coal is followed by renewable energy composed of geothermal, hydro, wind, biomass and solar at 27.1 percent or 3,684 MW.

Hydro accounted for the bulk of 17.1 percent of dependable capacity, followed by geothermal at 5.7 percent, wind at 2.2 percent, solar at 1.6 percent and biomass at 0.5 percent.

Natural gas power plants provided 24.2 percent of dependable capacity in 2016 at 3,291, MW while oil-based stations accounted for 12.2 percent of dependable capacity at 1,655 MW.

“We can still develop more indigenous resources,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said when asked to comment.

Data also showed the Philippines recorded an installed capacity of 21,423 MW as of end-2016, while dependable capacity stood at 19,097 MW.

The bulk of the output came from Luzon with an installed capacity of 14,977 MW compared with a dependable output of 13,600 MW.

Visayas’ installed capacity reached 3,284 MW against a dependable output of 2,813 MW.

Mindanao has an installed capacity of 3,162 MW versus a dependable output of 2,684 MW.

The department said the figures excluded off-grid power generators. Installed capacity refers to the capability of the power plants to produce while the dependable capacity refers to the actual output.