The Visayas grid will receive over 600 megawatts (MW) of power in the next three years, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.
DOE science research specialist Noriel Christopher Reyes said power plants with a total capacity of 607.4 MW are expected to go online within the second half of the year until 2019.
Reyes said 420 MW will be supplied by coal, while the remaining mix will consist of hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal energy, as well as diesel. He said geothermal energy is the biggest power source in the region.
Panay Energy Development Corp.’s (PEDC) 150-MW coal-fired power plant in Lapaz, Iloilo will begin operations in August. The plant owned by Global Business Power Corp. (GBP) will soon begin its operations, to be included in the 600-MW project.
Despite the country’s commitment to reduce emissions in the Paris agreement, Reyes said that the country still has to depend on a more stable power source like coal to fuel its growing economy.
“Hindi naman natin dinideny na in terms of emission, mas okay talaga ang renewable. Pero hindi natin pwede sabihin na we can do away with coal sa ngayon. Maybe, it’s a gradual process as we progress,” Reyes said yesterday at the Energy 101 summit. (“We can’t deny that in terms of emissions, renewables are better. But we can’t say that we can do away with coal for now. Maybe, it’s a gradual process as we progress.”)
GBP external affairs manager Sheryl P. Delos Santos also said that securing stable power supply is needed if the country wishes to invite more investors.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte said he will prioritize issuing required permits for power development.
President Duterte recently said that he will not honor the Paris Agreement on climate change, saying that the agreement will hinder the country’s economic development.
DOE secretary Alfono Cusi said in a statement that the country will adopt a “strategic fuel policy mix.”
“While we signed the Paris agreement last year committing ourselves to limit our carbon emissions, we cannot ignore the fact that our level of economic development at this point does not allow us to rely completely on renewable energy sources or clean energy,” Cusi said.