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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Albay sets sights on becoming a renewable energy hub by 2030

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Albay is ambitiously charting a path to become one of the Philippines’ renewable energy hubs by 2030 with its creation of a technical working group (TWG) tasked to develop plans towards achieving this goal.

Governor Edcel Greco Lagman recently issued an executive order officially establishing the TWG led by Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Arnold Onrubia as its chairperson.

Onrubia will be working with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay, department heads of the provincial government, as well as faith-based and civil society organizations to develop a renewable energy roadmap for the province.

Frequent power outages have plagued Albayanos, disrupting daily life and economic activities, despite the best efforts of Albay Electric Cooperative Inc. (ALECO)—the lone electricity provider in the province.

Albay’s current energy infrastructure struggles to keep up with demand, even with the presence of two geothermal power plants, according to Onrubia. To address this, the local government aims to tap potential renewable energy sources.

“We have the wind and two geothermal power plants here in Albay alone and that includes wind energy sources,” Onrubia said.

Onrubia noted that they have already identified promising sites to generate wind energy in the towns of Rapu-Rapu, Camalig, Pio Duran, parts of Polangui, Guinobatan and San Miguel Island in Tabaco City. He said these areas could potentially harness up to 10 gigawatts of electricity.  

Solar energy is also a key component of Albay’s renewable energy strategy. Onrubia highlighted the importance of this transition, which aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“To make that happen, [we need] comprehensive policies, investment in clean technologies, and international and local cooperation,” Onrubia underscored, noting that challenges remain in the areas of infrastructure investment, technology development, among other key issues.

The TWG’s responsibilities include scoping and mapping Albay’s renewable energy sources. It is reportedly on track to finalize the Renewable Energy Road Map and the Albay Green Energy Road Map by July 2024.

These plans will be unveiled at the upcoming Renewable Energy Summit in August 2024, which will attract potential foreign investors. President Marcos, officials from the Department of Energy, as well as European and Chinese ambassadors are expected to attend this gathering.

Camarines Sur has also recently launched the San Miguel Bay Offshore Wind Power Project, targeting significant energy generation from wind.

This project, spearheaded by Danish firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), aims to generate 1,000 megawatts and has already received approval from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments and necessary compliances from government regulatory agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).


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