MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will see nearly 5,000 megawatts (MW) from 47 new power facilities being built in the next five years.
However, over 70 percent of these new power facilities would be coal-based, government data showed.
This is despite the country’s push for renewable energy projects and commitment in the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) held in Paris last December.
The country will have 4,992.2 MW of new capacity coming from 47 new power facilities being built until 2020, latest data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed.
Nearly half, or 2,396.6 MW, of the power projects being built between now and 2020 is located in Luzon.
Of these, six are coal-fired power projects with a total capacity of 1,697 MW.
These projects include the 82-MW coal-fired power plant of Anda Power Corp., the 2×150-MW coal plant of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp., the 135-MW plant South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., the 2×150-MW Limay power plant of SMC Consolidated Power Corp., the 420-MW plant of Pagbilao Energy Corp., and the 460-MW plant of San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co.
As for other technologies, the island region will have two natural gas-fired power plants: a 100-MW facility and another 450-MW project both located in Batangas under First Gen Power Corp.
For renewables, a total of 149.6 MW will be built, of which 65.9 MW are hydropower projects, 33.7 MW are biomass facilities and 50 MW of solar farms.
The Visayas region will have 11 power projects with a total capacity of 675.3 MW.
Three are coal-fired power plants, namely the 150-MW coal-fired plant expansion Panay Energy Development Corp., and 2×135-MW coal-fired facility by AC Energy Holdings and Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp.
A single 18.9-MW diesel power plant would be built by Energreen Power Development and Management Inc.
Meanwhile, there will be eight renewable energy projects constructed until 2017, broken down in to four hydropower projects with 21.9 MW capacity, two solar projects with 150.5 MW, one 50-MW geothermal facility and a 14-MW wind farm.
For Mindanao, 16 projects with a total capacity of 1,920.3 MW will be constructed from now until 2019.
Seven coal-fired power projects make up the bulk with 1,760 MW in capacity, namely, the 2×100 coal-fired power station of Sarangani Energy Corp., the 150-MW coal-fired facility of Therma South Inc., the 2×150-MW plant of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp., the 3×135-MW plant of FDC Utilities Inc., the 3×55-MW plant of Minerngy Coal Corp., and the 540-MW coal-fired plant of GN Power Kausawagan Ltd. Co.
A single 11.9-MW diesel-fired power facility and eight renewable energy projects with a total of 148.4 MW will be built between now and 2019.
Revisit coal policy
At the House of Representatives, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, special committee on climate change member, has urged the government to revisit its policy on the construction of coal-fired plants.
The risks associated with coal far outweigh its short term benefits, he added.
Romualdez said the continued construction of coal-fired plants is inconsistent with the country’s commitments during the recently held Conference of Parties in Paris, France whereby the government committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
“Yes, we need energy, but our homes will have no use for light bulbs if they’re underwater,” he said.
“It is disappointing that the President inaugurated a 300-MW coal-fired plant in Davao barely a month after committing to shift to clean energy,” he said.
There had been many studies proving that coal-fired plants are the biggest contributors to global warming. A typical coal plant generates 3.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Typhoon Yolanda inundated Leyte, the province of Romualdez in November 2013.
The effects of global warming on rising sea levels and warmer oceans have been underestimated and may be two times greater than previously thought, according to the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.
The overall sea level rise rate is about 2.74 millimeters per year, combining both thermal expansion and melting ice.
From The Philippine Star
by Danessa Rivera
08 February 2016