The share of renewable energy (RE) in the Philippines’ power mix should be at laest 80% by 2030 to meet the country’s Paris climate commitments, an energy think tank said, citing a German study.
“We should be measuring our ambition based on whether it (aligns with) our commitment of 1.5° centigrade (maximum temperature rise) under the Paris agreement,” Avril de Torres, deputy executive director of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, said.
The Paris agreement is al treaty that aims to keep the rise in global temperatures rise below 2°C. The Philippines is a signatory.
Ms. de Torres said that the Philippine Energy Plan only expresses the country’s action plans in comparison to neighboring countries, which allows the Department of Energy (DoE) to say that the Philippines is ambitious.
Citing a study from German-based nonprofit organization Climate Analytics, Ms. de Torres said that meeting the Paris commitment would require a renewable energy share target of 80-83% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.
“Our ambition of 35% is not even half that is required if we are to align with the 1.5 degree Centigrade target,” she said.
As of the end of 2022, RE accounted for about 22% of the Philippine energy mix, with coal-fired power plants acconting for almost 60%. The government wants to boost the RE share to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.
“It’s good that the (plan) to retire (coal-fired power plants) has started but where is the plan to meet the 1.5 degree target?,” she said.
Ms. de Torres made her remarks during the anniversary of the moratorium for approving greenfield coal-fired power projects.
As of July, the Philippines had coal-fired installed capacity of 12,472 megawatts (MW), according to the DoE.
To date, coal power projects with a total capacity of 2,405 MW are in the “committed” stage, with 1,520 MW in the “indicative” stage.
Committed projects are those that are already in the construction phase or have a financial close in place, whereas indicative projects are those that are currently in the predevelopment stage.
The DoE said in August that its plan to retire or repurpose power plants will involve up to 5,000 MW.
Ms. de Torres said that the projected capacity “is not enough” as there is still “no phaseout plan” for coal, gas, and oil. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera