Even with RE push, coal to remain king – Fitch

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The Philippines’ major power players have been pushing for renewable energy (RE), but coal will still dominate the country’s energy mix for years to come, according to a report by global market research firm Fitch Solutions.

While the report states that coal generation growth in the country would slow down, Fitch projects that coal would comprise 59% of the country’s power sources until 2029, “with considerable downside risks.”

“We stress that coal remains the cheaper and more reliable option to meet with the country’s power demand surge, driven primarily by strong macroeconomic and demographic fundamentals, and government goals to achieve a 100% electrification rate by 2022,” the report read.

“Coal-fired power capacity growth is particularly important as resources in the Malampaya gas field continue to be depleted with limited scope for exploration success and infrastructural headwinds to [liquefied natural gas] import capacity,” it continued.

The report likewise recognized that coal projects approved prior to the imposition of the government’s moratorium on building new plants in October 2020 were allowed to carry on.

Major coal plant construction projects in the works include the 1,336-megawatt (MW) GNPower Dinginin supercritical clean coal fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021, and the 1200MW Atimonan ultra supercritical coal fired power plant in Quezon, set to be commissioned in 2024.

Back in November 2020, the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market revealed that half of the country’s power consumption came from coal.

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