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Philippines Department of Energy determined to push for geothermal development

Steam pipes at Mount Apo, Mindanao Philippines (source: flickr/ penmanila)
Alexander Richter 29 Jun 2020

The Philippines' Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi is determined to push for the country to reclaim its no.2 rank of geothermal countries aiming to support geothermal development and promote the opportunities it provides for the country's energy security.

An article published in the Philippines yesterday, reports the determination of the Department of Energy in the country, for the Philippines to reclaim its top 2 ranking of geothermal power generation capacity in the world.

“Let’s go for it and regain our previous global standing as one of the top countries in geothermal development,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said to the Business Mirror in the Philippines.

Energy Secretary Cusi wants to push development of geothermal power projects as element to the country’s energy security and boosting the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

As reported, he has directed his team to prepare a formal directive that would include initiatives and guidelines on the promotion of geothermal development, increase utilisation efforts as it is a domestic energy resource for the country.

“I would like to issue an order to really look deeply and comprehensively into how we can develop geothermal. I have been really thinking about it, assessing how we are addressing RE,” Cusi told the officials.

“This is the time to sit down and explore ways to support geothermal, because one installation will easily wipe out the 1,000 MW (megawatts) installation of solar. I am for RE that would help improve the energy security of the country,” Cusi said.

The National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP), for its part, said Cusi’s directive is “definitely a step in the right direction that will help our country become more energy independent.”

The group recently wrote Cusi to seek support in promoting and pursuing geothermal exploration and development in the country, which currently provides 11 percent of the Philippines’ power production.

Geothermal energy development has stalled in the country for way too long and that despite numerous geothermal energy sources. The lack of a guaranteed power purchase price under a feed-in-tariff is described as a big hurdle for private development, with the high risk and high up-front cost.

The sector through the NGAP has been asking for risk sharing between developers and the country’s Department of Energy, and the provision of financial support in the form of low interest rate loans or grants.

Source: Business Mirror