RE contract awards hit 1,300 as of end-Oct.

RE contract awards hit 1,300 as of end-Oct.

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it has awarded 1,300 renewable energy (RE) contracts with a total potential capacity of 130,880.8 megawatts (MW) as of the end of October.

“As of now, we have issued around 1,300 (contracts) with a total potential capacity of 130 gigawatts (GW). So, you can see wind has a lot of projects,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol said at a forum in Makati City on Tuesday.

The forum was organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project, and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Of the total, 225 wind energy contracts have been awarded with combined capacity of 83,079.3 MW. This was followed by 356 solar energy projects with capacity of 27,889 MW and 430 hydropower projects with capacity of 18,924.4 MW.

Geothermal energy had 37 contracts with potential capacity of 779.2 MW while biomass had 58 contracts with capacity of 174.9 MW. Nine ocean energy contracts have been awarded with capacity of 34 MW.

Noting the government’s target of 35% renewables in the power mix, “We will be needing around 52 gigawatts of new additional renewable energy capacity. This is how (much) we need investors to really invest in renewable energy projects,” Ms. Capongcol said.

“The offshore wind, actually, is an emerging RE technology that really challenges the Department of Energy because there’s no model as far as price discovery mechanism for pricing those properly,” she said.

To date, the DoE has awarded 80 offshore wind service contracts this year with a potential capacity of 62 GW.

“Based on the global energy transition, the Philippines is willing to contribute in the areas of offshore wind development — upscaling capacity building for our renewable energy workers,” Ms. Capongcol said.

She said the DoE has been working on “major RE challenges” such as permitting requirements, grid integration, and limited access to financing.

“Among the existing mechanisms, the Green Energy Option Program empowers consumers and corporate leaders with the choice of RE. To integrate sustainability in our private, government spaces… enables us to share the co-benefits of climate action,” ICSC Executive Director Angelo Kairos T. Dela Cruz said.

Last year, the Energy department said that on-grid power suppliers must expand the share of RE in their output to 2.5% starting in 2023 from 1% previously.

RE accounted for about 22% of the Philippines’ energy mix, with coal-fired power plants providing nearly 60% as of the end of 2022. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera