THE PHILIPPINES will need additional energy capacity of more than 8,000 megawatts (MW) by 2028, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.
“As you know they were already committed and then you have some other sources that may come online by 2028. Developments in technology are moving fast, and I hope they move faster,” Mr. Lotilla told reporters on Tuesday.
He said that by 2028, peak demand, which is currently at around 17,000 MW, is expected to hit 25,000 MW.
“To be able to meet that demand, we will have to make available more than 8,000 MW of new capacity,” Mr. Lotilla said.
Mr. Lotilla said that the Department of Energy (DoE) is looking at proposals for converting old coal-fired power plants for co-firing with ammonia or other new technologies.
Mr. Lotilla said that of the expected 8,000 MW of additional capacities, 43% or 3,440 MW will come from renewable energy (RE) sources.
“That’s pure renewable energy at this stage but we’re looking precisely at combinations of renewable energy and batteries, where the battery storage holding power sourced from renewable energy will also considered RE,” he said.
The balance or the 57% of the energy mix is expected to come from natural gas and coal.
“Remember that many of our coal-fired power plants are young… there’s still useful life ahead of them,” Mr. Lotilla said.
Mr. Lotilla said, however, that the transmission sector needs to accommodate the renewable energy coming on board.
“Renewable energy as you know is site-specific and therefore connectivity is at the core of RE. We have to connect the source to the market,” he said.
Mr. Lotilla noted that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has called renewable energy key to the country’s energy needs.
“The President stressed the need to diversify our sources of power and energy and renewable energy is the key because this is indigenous and therefore readily available for us, not subject to the volatilities of the external market,” he said.
So far, the DoE has approved about 126 RE service contracts since June 2022, which represent around 31,000 MW. — Ashley Erika O. Jose