DOE urged to utilize RE for Mindanao? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:54

Renewable energy (RE) developers reiterated calls to the government to aggressively increase power capacity from RE projects amid continuing oil price hikes as well as threats of another power shortage in Mindanao this summer.

In a statement, Peregrino Fernandez, a member of the Renewable Energy Developers’ Caucus, raised serious concern over the rising oil prices which is also expected to push up electricity prices. Coal and natural gas prices are indexed to oil.

“The rising cost of fossil fuel must be addressed by new paradigms and framework. Unless carbon-free solution is introduced to our energy situation, we are merely applying a band-aid solution to our dependency on fossil fuels,” Fernandez said.

Ramon Abaya, Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. chairman, for his part, underscored the importance of putting up renewable energy projects in Mindanao because the region does not have enough power supply or adequate reserves.

“Government must look at an aggressive RE option to address the Mindanao brownouts fast,” Abaya said.

Tetchie Capellan, president of the Philippine Solar Power Alliance, meanwhile, said several solar power service contract applications were recently submitted to the Energy Department.
Capellan said as of last week, there were about 43 applications totaling 230 megawatts of which some are located in Mindanao and can be deployed within 12 months.

“They (solar projects) are viable solutions to the expected energy crunch in Mindanao this year,” Capellan said.

Joe Natividad, Sunwest Water and Electric Co. president and co-convenor of the RE Caucus, also urged government to review the installation targets of renewable energy projects to spur the development of the emerging industry.

The department has set the indicative renewable energy installation targets at 830 MW (biomass, 250 MW, solar, 100 MW, wind, 220 MW, ocean, 10 MW and hydro at 250 MW), 40 percent lower than what the industry is asking.

The developers, however, were proposing an installation target totaling 1,482 MW (442 MW for biomass, 420 MW for solar, 340 MW for wind, 30 MW for ocean and hydro at 250 MW).