THE PHILIPPINES has the capacity to abandon coal-fired power by 2035 and most power generated by gas by 2040, a climate advocacy said in a report.
“The Philippines must urgently phase out coal-fired power by 2035, and almost entirely phase out gas-fired generation by 2040. This report finds this is not only feasible but will benefit the economy and provide more than a million jobs by 2050,” Berlin-based Climate Analytics said in the report, which was released on Wednesday.
“To align with international climate goals, the Philippines should prioritize achieving a higher share of renewable electricity generation by 2030, exceeding current plans,” it added.
The government target is to increase the share of renewable energy (RE) in the power mix — currently at 22% — to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.
The report said that it is “entirely feasible” to get the power industry onto a Paris agreement-compliant pathway by bringing forward the replacement of fossil fuels with RE.
The Philippines is a signatory to the Paris agreement, a treaty whose participants committed to take action that will keep the rise in global temperatures below 2°C.
“We find that with the right international funding and policies in place, the Philippines could transition its’ power sector to near-100% renewable energy without compromising on the cost of electricity, reducing its reliance on expensive imports of both coal and gas, and creating up to a million jobs by 2050,” according to Nandini Das, an analyst with Climate Analytics and project lead for the report.
In order to achieve the 1.5°C target for temperature rise, the Philippines needs a “well-defined plan” for an expedited coal phase-out and expanding renewable energy to 99% coverage by 2050.
“Policymakers must outline a clear phase-out plan, which can incentivize power plant operators to exit their power supply contracts, expedite the decommissioning process and swap to renewables,” the report said.
In 2020, the Department of Energy (DoE) issued a moratorium on greenfield coal-fired power plants, signaling a shift to a more flexible power mix.
As of July, the Philippines had coal-fired installed capacity of 12,472 megawatts (MW), the DoE reported.
“The Philippines has abundant renewables potential, estimated at around 1,200 GW (gigawatts), composed of solar rooftop, open-field solar and onshore and offshore wind energy,” according to the report.
Climate Analytics projected that the Philippines needs an additional 152 terawatt-hours by 2050 to meet future electricity demand, assuming the phaseout of fossil fuels.
“Our analysis underscores that the Philippines possesses substantial renewable energy potential, particularly in rooftop and open-field solar photovoltaics,” it said.
Philippines solar energy resources have been estimated at a potential 58,110 MW, according to the DoE.
As of June, the DoE awarded 341 solar service contracts with a potential capacity of 14,786 megawatt peak.
Overall, 1,087 RE contracts have been rewarded with an equivalent total potential capacity of 113.5 GW. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera