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DOE wants to retire old coal power plants, shift to nuclear energy

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The Department of Energy plans to retire and repurpose the country’s coal-fired power plants and develop nuclear power as part of its move towards clean energy.

“There is a need for us to retire some of the coal plant capacities,” DOE director for energy policy and planning bureau Michael Sinocruz said during the public consultations on the proposed Philippine Energy Plan 2023 to 2050.

Sinocruz said the DOE listed several criteria for the coal plant retirement such as reaching 40-year technical life and being inefficient in terms of number of outages.

“These are some of the criteria that we will use for us to decide whether some of these coal plants should be retired under the clean energy scenario,” he said.

“Repurposing of coal power plants will also contribute to the increased share of RE,” he said. Repurposing means using other fuel such as biomass, ammonia and other technologies once available.

Coal accounts for around 46 percent of the country’s installed power generation capacity. Around 12,473 megawatts of installed capacity comes from coal, including 8,607.7 MW in Luzon; 1,959.5 MW in Mindanao; and 1,412.5 MW in the Visayas.

Meanwhile, Sinocruz said nuclear power is “not a transition fuel” for the Philippines.

“That will be one of the fuels that we need to consider for us to move to energy transition and moving further to have a clean economy or a net zero or carbon neutrality,” he said.

Based on its proposal, the DOE was looking at 1,200 MW of nuclear capacity by 2030, 2,400 MW by 2035 and 4,800 MW by 2050.


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