Philippine growth too much to power?

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cola plantThe Philippines’ national energy plan will have to be rethought if the country continues to maintain its current clip of economic growth, a high-level official of the Department of Energy (DOE) told Inside Investor on June 17.

“If we keep growing at 7.8 per cent, then [the Philippines] will have to come up with more solutions in the medium-term,” Director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau Mario Marasigan said.

“Look and the vertical and horizontal development going on here [in Fort Bonifacio, Manila]. This area will need an extra 50 megawatts in three to five more years,” he observed, drawing out an example.

Director Marasigan heads the governmental department charged with no small feat – come up with 10,000 more megawatts of renewable energy capacity within 17 years, or half of the projected supply.

The Philippines, the world’s second largest producer of geothermal energy, is looking to become a powerhouse of harnessed renewable resources in an ambitious scheme led by private sector investment. Yet the new pockets of wealth being created coupled with the withered conditions of old power plants will put pressure to continue relying on traditional fuels.

“We are targeting renewable energy generation to cater to greater power demand,” Marasigan said, adding that “there will be continuous importation of fossil fuels, but we hope that this will taper off.”

When that will begin to happen rests on the shoulder of the private sector, which has been identified by the government to lead the development of renewable resources through the semblance of a public-private partnership contracting scheme that “awards” resources – such as water resources, wind resources, etc. – to private sector players, with the government sharing profits.

While hundreds of potential renewable energy projects have been identified, the government still faces pressure to provide electricity to the estimated three out of 10 rural homes that go without access to power. This could necessitate the expedient development of dirtier, but cheaper resources over renewables if private investment fails to materialise apace with growth.

Many spots across the Visayas and Mindanao are indeed off of the national power grid and must rely on government-run local generators, if anything at all.

On Mindanao, where a perennial power crisis deficit was only recently filled, the bugbear of brownouts still loom because of two aging hydropower complexes, from which the island has become dependent on for the majority of its energy supply.

As urban centers from Davao to Manila continue to experience an economic boom that puts their net growth above the mark of China, more commensurate energy strategies will have to be drawn out, no matter the source of the supply.

 

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Philippines’ national energy plan will have to be rethought if the country continues to maintain its current clip of economic growth, a high-level official of the Department of Energy (DOE) told Inside Investor on June 17.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

cola plantThe Philippines’ national energy plan will have to be rethought if the country continues to maintain its current clip of economic growth, a high-level official of the Department of Energy (DOE) told Inside Investor on June 17.

“If we keep growing at 7.8 per cent, then [the Philippines] will have to come up with more solutions in the medium-term,” Director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau Mario Marasigan said.

“Look and the vertical and horizontal development going on here [in Fort Bonifacio, Manila]. This area will need an extra 50 megawatts in three to five more years,” he observed, drawing out an example.

Director Marasigan heads the governmental department charged with no small feat – come up with 10,000 more megawatts of renewable energy capacity within 17 years, or half of the projected supply.

The Philippines, the world’s second largest producer of geothermal energy, is looking to become a powerhouse of harnessed renewable resources in an ambitious scheme led by private sector investment. Yet the new pockets of wealth being created coupled with the withered conditions of old power plants will put pressure to continue relying on traditional fuels.

“We are targeting renewable energy generation to cater to greater power demand,” Marasigan said, adding that “there will be continuous importation of fossil fuels, but we hope that this will taper off.”

When that will begin to happen rests on the shoulder of the private sector, which has been identified by the government to lead the development of renewable resources through the semblance of a public-private partnership contracting scheme that “awards” resources – such as water resources, wind resources, etc. – to private sector players, with the government sharing profits.

While hundreds of potential renewable energy projects have been identified, the government still faces pressure to provide electricity to the estimated three out of 10 rural homes that go without access to power. This could necessitate the expedient development of dirtier, but cheaper resources over renewables if private investment fails to materialise apace with growth.

Many spots across the Visayas and Mindanao are indeed off of the national power grid and must rely on government-run local generators, if anything at all.

On Mindanao, where a perennial power crisis deficit was only recently filled, the bugbear of brownouts still loom because of two aging hydropower complexes, from which the island has become dependent on for the majority of its energy supply.

As urban centers from Davao to Manila continue to experience an economic boom that puts their net growth above the mark of China, more commensurate energy strategies will have to be drawn out, no matter the source of the supply.

 

 

 

 

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