Ph’s RE capacity grows over 40% in the last decade

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The country’s renewable energy (RE) capacity grew by 41.2% in the last decade, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

Based on the IRENA’s annual Renewable Energy Capacity Statistics 2021, the country’s total RE capacity grew from 4,818 megawatts (MW) in 2011 to 6,812MW in 2020. 

The biggest year-on-year jump during the decade was between 2015 and 2016, with an 11.5% increase in total RE capacity from 5,625MW to 6,272MW. Most of the growth came from solar, which had 784MW in 2016 from 173MW, or 350% compared to 2015. 

Among the solar projects that started operating in 2016 was Helios Solar Energy Corporation’s 132.2MW solar power plant in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental — the biggest solar farm in Southeast Asia back then. Solar Philippines also opened its 63.3MW solar farm in Calatagan, Batangas that year, while Ayala-led AC Energy launched its 48MW islaSol II solar plant in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.

As for the latest yearly comparison, the Philippines’ renewable capacity increased by 0.74% in 2020 from 6,762MW in 2019.

The technologies counted in the data are hydropower, wind energy, solar energy, bioenergy, geothermal energy, and off-grid electricity. 

Meanwhile, the global RE generating capacity grew to 2,799 gigawatts (GW) last year, 10.3% higher than 2019. Hydropower accounts for nearly half of the total capacity with 1,211GW (43%), followed by wind with 733GW (26%), solar with 714GW (26%), and other sources for the remaining five percent.

“These numbers tell a remarkable story of resilience and hope. Despite the challenges and the uncertainty of 2020, renewable energy emerged as a source of undeniable optimism for a better, more equitable, resilient, clean and just future,” IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said in a statement.

“Despite the difficult period, as we predicted, 2020 marks the start of the decade of renewables. Costs are falling, clean tech markets are growing and never before have the benefits of the energy transition been so clear. This trend is unstoppable, but as the review of our World Energy Transitions Outlook highlights, there is a huge amount to be done,” he added.

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in shifting into a sustainable source of energy in the future. It serves as a principal platform for international cooperation and in exploring other values of renewable energy. It also promotes sustainable development worldwide.