The drive to reduce global carbon emissions and air pollution is getting the full backing of the Marcos administration.
Aware of the negative impact of fossil-based fuel on the environment, the Department of Energy has prioritized accelerating renewable energy development toward a sustainable and low-carbon energy future.
The DOE, through its National Renewable Energy Program and Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040, set a target of 35 percent RE share in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.
“As the global population continues to grow with climate change upon us, the world rushes towards finding cleaner and more efficient alternative sources of energy. Global trends project an aggressive demand and accessibility for renewable energies in the next decade. Ostensibly, harnessing renewable energy sources is critical to our future,” said Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara.
Guevara said the transformation from traditional to RE sources will require huge investments.
She said DOE was setting the RE targets but it was up to the private sector to make it happen with government support, such as incentives, programs and policies to accelerate the process.
Guevara said several RE policy mechanisms were being developed for implementation in the coming years to achieve the RE goal.
She said DOE would auction the generation of 11,610 megawatts of electricity under the Green Energy Auction Program 2 for the 2024 to 2026 supply period by June.
The GEAP aims to provide an additional market for renewable energy through competitive electronic bidding of RE capacities.
“Compared to the first auction of GEAP-1 last year, we are more aggressive this year and we are looking for RE developers who have ready capacity by next year, to the tune of 3,590 MW and for 2025 and 2026, we need capacity commitments of 3,630 MW and 4,390 MW, respectively or a total of 11,610 MW,” Guevara said.
DOE conducted the GEAP-1 in June last year for a capacity requirement of 2,000 MW.
“The proposed installation targets under the GEA-2 were determined based on the capacity needed by the three grids to ensure sufficient supply, the RE capacity levels to meet the target of 35 percent RE share in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040, and the volume of RE certificates necessary comply with the mandates under the Renewable Portfolio Standards,” Guevara said.
She said DOE would include in the terms of reference the list of areas and corresponding capacity of transmission that is already available.
National Grid Corp. of the Philippines has committed to accelerate transmission development to match the pace of generation works, she said.
The energy official said GEAP-3 would be held in the fourth quarter for geothermal and impounding hydro.
Meanwhile, Guevara said DOE would issue a circular defining the procedures and requirements for awarding offshore wind service contracts following the publication of the “Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap.”
She said an executive order that seeks to strengthen and rationalize the regulatory framework for the immediate development of OSW is being reviewed for finalization by the Office of the President.
The DOE has awarded 57 OSW energy service contracts with a potential capacity of 42.22 GW.
“This is 160 percent of our current generation capacity. While the numbers look good, the process of bringing wind developers from service contract award to generating the first kilowatt-hour is a long one. We still have to work out possessory rights, environmental compliance, avoiding marine protected bias, sea lanes, etc.,” Guevara said.
She said DOE started engaging concerned agencies to help speed up the rollout of OSW projects.
The DOE is also moving ahead with the the Open and Competitive Selection Process 4 or OCSP4, an investment promotion mechanism where potential areas for RE development or pre-determined areas will be offered to private investors.
Guevara said these PDAs have sufficient technical data on geothermal, hydropower and wind energy.
The DOE to date has approved 19 PDAs for offering under the OCSP4.
Guevara said the government plans to come out with the circular for OCSP4 in May, conduct the bidding process from June to August and have the contracts awarded in September.
“Amid these all, we remain steadfast in our goal of making electricity accessible to all. And we can do this by first, diversifying our energy mix while ensuring a path towards a sustainable, carbon-neutral, and clean energy future,” Guevara said.
“And second, by requiring more energy sources to support the country’s increasing power demand for economic recovery and development, along with firm and effective policy and regulatory support,” she said.