Renewable energy projects slow down in past 2 years
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There has been a slowdown in renewable energy (RE) development and applications in the country over the past two years, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

Latest data from the DOE showed the country ended 2019 with a total RE installed capacity of 4,920.48 megawatts (MW). Of the total, 4,793.56 MW were for grid use while 126.92 MW were for own use.

The data showed there were 562 awarded hydropower projects, 10 ocean energy power plants, 35 geothermal facilities, 79 wind plants, 293 solar farms and 63 biomass plants, whose capacities are for grid consumption.

Meanwhile, there are two hydropower projects, 22 solar farms, 21 biomass plants and one wind farm dedicated for own use.

As of end-2019, the DOE said there were a total of 58 applications for grid-RE projects and three own-use projects which have a potential capacity of 2,940.51 MW.

There were 25 applications for solar, 22 for hydropower, seven for biomass, three for wind and one for geothermal.

However, the end-2019 numbers showed slower pace in RE development.

Last year’s total installed capacity was only three percent higher compared to the total installed capacity of 4,751.59 MW in 2017.

Meanwhile, applications reached 206 two years ago, with 93 applications for hydropower, three for solar, 16 for wind, 10 for biomass and four for geothermal. These projects had a potential capacity of 3,912.66 MW.

RE proponents have been clamoring for stronger support and clearer policies in developing clean energy projects.

Last year, the DOE started working on updating the country’s RE targets as capacity fell short from goals set 10 years after the Renewable Energy Act was enacted.

National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), the advisory body tasked with the effective implementation of RE projects in the country, is assisting the DOE in updating the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) which started implementation in 2011.

Under NREP 2011-2030, the DOE is targeting to triple the existing renewable capacity of 5,438 MW in 2010 to 15,304 MW by 2030.

However, the capacity addition was slow and only 7,000 MW were added until 2017.

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