Mindanao Power Congress to give RE stronger push PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 May 2013 14:34

The Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AMRECO) is convening key stakeholders of the island’s power sector to push for immediate and long-term strategies that will address the region’s power issues.

A statement from the Mindanao Development Authority said the 2nd Mindanao Congress of the Advocates for Renewable Energy and Rural Electrification and Development (MinCARED) is slated from May 27 to 28 in Cagayan de Oro City. This will serve as a platform for discussion and integrated of actions to push for accelerated renewable energy deployment in Mindanao.

“With the theme Mainstreaming the Mindanao Power Agenda, the congress will further highlight collaborative mechanisms that can be undertaken to ensure aggressive promotion of renewable energy projects, and the effective delivery of sufficient power supply across the island,” said Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority Luwalhati Antonino.

She explained that among the major gains of the 1st MinCARED held in January last year, was bringing to national attention the need to address the Mindanao power situation so that immediate and long term measures can be hammered out jointly by the government and the private sector.

MinCARED participants include representatives from the local government units, which include local chief executives and legislators, representatives from non-government organizations, academe, electric cooperative constituencies, media, private sector, and business leaders as well as other power industry stakeholders.

“As we look ahead to the end of this power supply shortfall in the next two to three years, we still face the challenge of balancing the desired energy mix in Mindanao,” added Antonino.

MinDA, which chairs the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) announced that while there are already committed power projects that are expected to generate new capacities from 2016 to 2018, majority of these are fossil fuel-based power plants.

Co-chaired by Department of Energy, MPMC is composed of AMRECO, the Energy Regulatory Commission, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, Mindanao Electric Power Alliance, National Transmission Corporation, and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

“We are looking into the viability of investments in renewable energy projects, specifically small hydro and biomass generation to sustain Mindanao’s ideal energy mix of 50 percent renewable energy and 50 percent fuel-based plants in the future,” explained Antonino.

Currently, Mindanao is enjoying a 60-40 energy mix in favor of renewable energy largely on account of it’s Agus-Pulangi hydro complex, geothermal plants, several small hydro, biomass and the country’s only solar plant. The 40 percent capacity is supplied by fossil fuel-based power plants, particularly coal and diesel. But by 2016, when committed power projects, which are mostly coal come online, MinDA expects reversal of energy mix.

Antonino added that in order to achieve the desired energy mix, MinDA is currently working with the Department of Energy and USAID’s CEnergy in conducting an energy resources assessment for small hydro and biomass energy projects. The study will help determine the most suitable areas for these power projects.

A one-stop-shop processing and facilitation center specific for renewable energy projects is also being worked out to fast track the approval and implementation of these projects in Mindanao.