Philippines plans 20GW of renewable energy capacity by 2040

Energy Secretary for the Philippines, Alfonso Cusi, said the country plans to add at least 20,000MW of renewable energy capacities by 2040.

Cusi made the statement during the launch of the Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) for the Philippines, undertaken by the country’s Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

“The RRA is a collaboration among the DOE, IRENA and other renewable energy stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

“It is vital in our vision towards attaining 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacities by 2040,” said Cusi.

Cusi said that formulating the RRA involved research, interviews, focus group discussions and several multi-stakeholder consultations. The Philippines RRA will also contribute to a database of the status of renewables readiness across member countries of IRENA.

The Energy Secretary added that the goal is to provide a comprehensive and detailed analyses of the country’s renewable energy profile to recommend measures to deal with the issues in the industry.

According to the RRA for the Philippines, the estimated ocean energy generation capacity of 70.5MW was proposed for development in 2013-2030 in the Philippines Energy Plan for the period.

However, the sites identified in the plan require more detailed exploration studies to ensure technical and economic viability, the RRA states.

The first of the potential sites is a 10MW Cabangan ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) project in Zambales Province in Luzon, being developed by Bell Pirie Power Corporation with a service contract to explore, develop, build and operate a power plant in 1,300 hectares of sea.

It is expected to start commercial operation in 2018 and evacuate the electricity to the mainland via an undersea power cable.

When it comes to tidal energy projects in the Philippines, the H&WB Asia Pacific Corporation has been awarded service contracts to develop four separate sites with a total capacity of 20MW.

H&WB Asia Pacific formed a partnership with a French tidal energy developer Sabella in 2015 to develop a tidal energy project in one of its lease areas in San Bernardino Strait, known as the Matnog lease area.

More recently, the fully-owned subsidiary of state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), PNOC Renewables Corporation, teamed up with H&WB to develop projects in its three lease areas, mainly in San Bernardino Strait.

Also, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has this month unveiled plans to invest over $3 billion to develop a tidal plant in the Philippines that would produce up to 1,200MW of power.

Furthermore, the Philippines attracted the attention of a Singapore-based clean-technology investment company, Envirotek, who said it will put the country into the focus for the commercialization of tidal in-stream energy as it boasts more than 7,000 islands, many of which are isolated communities that still have limited access to electricity.