RE investments pushed in Mindanao


A Mindnao think-tank is pushing for viable targets to keep Mindanao’s energy mix diversified, with a premium on renewable energy (RE) sources to support the country’s clean energy agenda.

Romeo M. Montenegro, director for Investment Promotion and Public Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said that accelerating RE projects points to a logical way forward of achieving an ideal energy mix.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 at the ADB Headquarters in Pasig City, Montenegro cited that Mindanao’s current energy mix of 60-40 in favor of RE will see significant reversal to 70-30 dominated by fossil in 2018 under current plans.

A report from the Department of Energy (DOE) indicated a total of 1,800 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity in Mindanao from coal-fired power plants will be coming online by 2018, with the first 300MW from Aboitiz Therma South already delivering power to the grid since late last year.

In a bid to offset the rise of fossil fuel use and keep a balanced energy mix in Mindanao, MinDA, through its Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee has set-up a One Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center to help accelerate deployment of RE projects in the island.

The monitoring system, developed with support from USAID’s Climate Change and Clean Energy (CEnergy) Project, currently tracks the progress of 284 RE projects in Mindanao, mostly in the pre-development stage and with a total potential generation capacity of 3,773MW. DOE had since adopted the system to include RE projects in the Visayas and Luzon, through a mechanism called Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS).

“We want to purposively address a ‘business as usual’ scenario where the majority of Mindanao’s energy sources by 2030 will come from mostly fossil technology, and now is the time to trigger rapid RE deployment,” Montenegro stressed.

Considered as a trailblazing government facilitation project to promote clean energy sources, MinDA and DOE are set to showcase the program as a ‘best practice’ at the USAID-organized Asia Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Forum later this month in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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

Last year, the Philippines submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations (UN), committing to cut by 70 percent its carbon emissions by 2030.

In keeping with the committed target, the government is looking at reviewing current energy policies with the end view of creating and enforcing a policy framework to stimulate clean energy investments.


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