The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to fully develop 145 geothermal areas to unlock their generation capacity and help secure the country’s energy requirements, an official said.
“According to the recent geothermal inventory efforts of the Department, there are 145 geothermal areas in the country, while only 7 fields are in operation. We want these potential capacities to be developed,” DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said.
Guevara urged the members of the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP) to further explore the potential of geothermal energy during the 4th Philippine International Geothermal Conference this week.
She said the Philippines has been developing geothermal power since 1970s and was the second largest producer of geothermal energy in the world until Indonesia outrank the country in 2018.
The Philippines now ranks as the third largest producer next to Indonesia and United States of America.
Guevara said geothermal development and utilization slowed down since 2007 and only 86 MW was added in the total installed despite the enactment of the Republic Act No. 9513 or Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
“This year, three geothermal energy projects are under construction and expected to be online by December 2023. These are the 17-megawatt [MW] Tiwi Binary Geothermal Power Plant, 29-MW Palayan Binary Power Plant and 2-MW Biliran geothermal power plant,” she said.
Guevara said the 5.6-MW Bago Binary geothermal power plant and the 20-MW Tanawon geothermal power Plant would be online by 2024.
“There is also a total of 381 MW additional capacity from projects that are undergoing pre-feasibility studies,” she said.
Guevara said geothermal and hydro renewable energy sources continued to dominate the country’s RE mix in 2022 with 9.3 percent and 9 percent share in the total gross power generation, respectively.
“Despite of the slowdown in the development of geothermal energy based on the Philippine trend, its contribution to the country’s power requirement remains strong as it provides 10,000 gigawatt-hours,” she said.