DOE plans to reutilize and retire 5,000 MW coal plants

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The Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to reutilize and retire 5,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power plants in the country and also advance nuclear power as part of the goal to shift towards clean energy.

DOE Director for Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Michael Sinocruz said that some coal plants offering 4,000 to 5,000 MW capacities should be retired as part of updating the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP).

Sinocruz added that specific criteria were set in consideration as to which power plant should retire including those deemed inefficient due to numerous outages and ones that have reached the limit of their technical life. 

However, they did not specify the specific timeframe on when the country will finally remove coal in its generation mix. 

Instead, the government’s strategy is to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) for funding. This will allow coal plants to retire ahead of their standard operational life cycle.

The ETM offers access to concessional or commercial funding specifically directed towards expediting the phasing out of coal and other fossil fuel-based power generation facilities in the energy mix. These funds aimed to replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives

The DOE expressed that a complete phase out might not be infeasible and instead, would be repurposed into other plants that energy markets are interested in.