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Geothermal could fuel part of increasing energy demand in Mindanao

Steam pipes at Mount Apo, Mindanao Philippines (source: flickr/ penmanila)
Carlo Cariaga 4 Apr 2019

Anticipating a shortfall in energy supply in the region, the Mindanao Development Authority is pushing for the development of more renewable energy facilities.

More renewable energy facilities will be needed in Mindanao, the southernmost part of the Philippines, to keep up with the rapid growth of industries, real estate, services, and agribusiness. This was the message of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary and Deputy Executive Director Romeo Montenegro to the stakeholders in the Water, Energy, and Power Summit which was held on March 26 in Zamboanga City.

Mindanao will need about 3500 MW of additional capacity between 2021 to 2030, according to Montenegro.

Mindanao currently has an excess energy supply due to the construction of new power plants. However, these are mostly coal-powered plants, which have resulted in a regression of the region’s renewable energy-fossil energy mix.

In 2015, the power energy mix in Mindanao was 49% hydropower, 31% oil-based, 14% coal, and 6% geothermal. After the entry of the coal power plants, the 2017 energy mix shifted to 49% coal, 29% hydropower, 18% oil-based, 3% geothermal, and 1% biomass.

Overall, the fraction of energy generated in Mindanao from renewable sources decreased from 55%  to 33%.

Source: SunStar