Devanadera: Solar now a major competitor in Ph energy mix

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Solar power can now go up against other dominant energy sources in the Philippines after adding in 1,000 megawatts (MW) to the country’s energy mix more than a decade after the passage of Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008

“Solar can now compete with the rest of the technologies. The growth of solar overtook even the other RE technologies we have been developing in the Philippines,” Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Agnes Devandera said during the Philippine Solar PV Energy Virtual Summit on Wednesday. 

Devanadera pointed out that solar power accounted for 1,019MW of the country’s power generation portfolio in 2020, making it the third-largest RE contributor next to hydroelectric at 3,779MW, and geothermal at 1,928MW.

Prior to the RE Act’s implementation, only one megawatt of solar power was contributed to the energy mix by only one photovoltaic power plant – that of the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company’s (CEPALCO), which serves most of Cagayan De Oro City, as well as nearby towns in Misamis Oriental.

Based on ERC data, there are currently 63 commercial solar plants with a total capacity of 1,419-megawatt peak (MWp), 164 solar self-generating facilities with a capacity of 71 MWp, and 5,716 solar installations of qualified net-metering end-users with a capacity of 46.73 MWp. All of these, according to the quasi-judicial agency, have been issued a certificate of compliance, or a provisional authority to operate. 

Devanadera added that since the law’s enactment, solar projects have generated over 168,000 jobs and have reduced 3,598,867 tons of carbon dioxide from 2009 to 2019. 

Power Philippines is the media partner of the Philippine Solar PV Energy Virtual Summit.