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Region of Mindanao receives Japanese support for renewable energy development

Steam pipes at Mount Apo, Mindanao Philippines (source: flickr/ penmanila)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Mar 2017

Mindanao in the Philippines is receiving support from Japan for the promotion of geothermal and other renewables to help fuel increasing power demand with renewable energy fuelled power generation.

Reported from Manila today, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have identified priority areas of collaboration in renewable energy in the southern Philippines.

Beside other projects, the collaboration will include the promotion of geothermal energy and the enhancement of electricity distribution in areas with low electrification rates.

Japan is prepared to offer two-step loans for such projects while feasibility studies will be offered as grants. A two-step loan is one where funds pass through a commercial bank or other financial institution before being released to the end-beneficiaries. Technical experts will also be made available through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

So while fears for a lack of power supply to meet the projected growth in demand and required reserves has eased somewhat there is still an ever increasing demand for power.

The rapid growth of the manufacturing, real estate, services, and agri-business sectors however, resulted to a surge in demand for electricity. Projected demand for 2016 was at least 500 MW. By 2020, there would be a need for another 500MW, and by 2030 an additional 1,600MW.

The entry of more fossil-fuel based power plants, particularly coal, is projected to raise the cost of electricity in the island-region. Power generated From this source now accounts for 69 percent in Mindanao, with coal accounting for 40 percent. Shares of hydro, geothermal, solar and biomass accounted for just 31 percent of the total power generated.

“We have been pushing for investments in renewable energy by fast-tracking the application process from three to five years down to two to three years through our One-Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center (OSFMC),” Alonto said.

To promote the use of renewable energy and lower electricity rates, METI proposed the introduction of wind power plants in viable areas in North-Eastern Mindanao, particularly in the province of Surigao including the islands of Dinagat and Siargao.

The METI is also proposing for the use of small-sized geothermal power plants in the range of 2-7MW as these can be built faster and at lower cost.

 

Source: Manila Times