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Faster approval process for renewable energy plants sought
by Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Photo credit: SMA Solar Technology - Catalagan Solar Farm
A lawmaker on Monday appealed to the Department of Energy (DOE) to expedite the process of approvals for power plants, especially for renewable energy (RE), as the possibility of “energy crunch” looms due to the impact of oil price hikes.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said the possible “energy crunch”, or a rise in power and fuel costs, by mid-2022 can cause major problems for countries like the Philippines that import non-renewables for its energy needs, as it could dampen economic recovery.
“The world is facing what could be a year of price hikes on coal, oil, natural gas, and other non-renewable energy sources. We are facing a confluence of factors. Oil is back where it was pre-pandemic. Natural gas is at all-time highs,” Salceda said.
In response to disruptions and price hikes in fossil fuels, he recommended that the country diversify its energy portfolio quickly.
“RE is just 24 percent of our energy sources, when we are both a net importer of fossil fuels, and an excellent location for all sorts of RE. One problem appears to me to be the approval process,” he said.
He noted that the Renewable Energy Law imposes much more requirements on RE players than on traditional fossil fuel plants, which tend to discourage rather than encourage RE power plants.
“We may need to review the Renewable Energy Law to see how we can expedite approval processes. The pre-development stage also tends to be long, up to three years, so we have to see how we can move quicker with that stage,” Salceda said.
He said the ideal mix should be at least 40 percent renewable energy.
“Our international commitment is to get that up to 35 percent by 2030, but we should do ourselves better by aiming for 40 percent, since almost all of our fossil fuels are imported,” Salceda said.
Salceda also suggested that DOE should be a more regular part of discussions on the country’s economic recovery.
“I’ve seen the national employment recovery strategy (NERS) and it says nothing about new power plants, which we sorely need, and which will definitely create new jobs. It’s not even in the National Employment Recovery task force,” he said.
He said approving the creation of pending power plant applications will create new jobs.
“You also need cheap power to create jobs. Moving forward, I hope the DOE is part of discussions on our economic recovery. Power costs remain an investor concern and a dampener on economic recovery,” he said. By Filane Mikee Cervantes
Article courtesy of Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - October 18, 2021
Siguil Hydro Power Plant in Sarangani On-Schedule to deliver Renewable Energy in 2022
The Alsons Power group’s 14.5 mega-watt (MW) ₱ 4.5 billion run- of- river hydroelectric power plant at the Siguil River basin in Maasim, Sarangani Province is on- track to begin operations in 2022 to provide a source of renewable power to key areas of Mindanao. The photo shows ongoing work on the plant’s powerhouse that will contain the hydropower turbine and generator set which will produce electricity using water from the Siguil River. It will also house the power facility’s control Room and offices for administration, operations and maintenance. Alsons Power- Mindanao’s firs private sector power generator plans to develop at least seven more run of river hydro power facilities in different parts of Mindanao and Negros Occidental. The group currently operates four power facilities in Mindanao with a total generating capacity of 468 MW serving over 8 million people in 14 cities and 11 provinces.
Philippine Resources - November 15, 2021
New RE plan targets 35% share of power generation by 2030
Photo credit: PhilStar The Philippines' proposed National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) 2020-2040 is setting a target of 35 percent share of renewable energy (RE) in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent share by 2040. This was bared by Director Mylene C. Capongcol, OIC of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Renewable Energy Management Bureau, who in a recent online presentation acknowledged that instead of growing, the share of RE in the power generation mix has actually declined. She noted that in 2008, the year the Renewable Energy Act was passed, the share of RE was about 34 percent. Now it is down to 21 percent, or 21,609 gigawatt-hours (GWh), out of a total 101,756 GWh of power generated. The government is looking to revert the share of RE to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040 under the updated NREP, Capongcol said. The NREP sets the roadmap for achieving the country's RE goals as required by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act, provides the framework for the development, utilization, and commercialization of RE sources, defined as resources that can be replenished regularly and are available indefinitely. These include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, ocean energy, hydropower, and other emerging RE technologies. The Act affirms the government’s commitment to accelerate the utilization of RE resources in the country to reduce harmful emissions and achieve economic development while protecting the health and environment. The transition to RE from carbon-intensive energies has become even more urgent in light of the massive destruction being wrought by climate change and uncontrolled greenhouse gas emissions not just in the country but on a global scale. Capongcol, during the webinar, said the proposed NREP will be released soon. The updated plan seeks to help attain energy security, contribute to sustainable development, counter climate change, provide capability building, and secure inclusive growth for the country. To achieve the targets under the updated NREP 2020-2040, she said that while there have been a number of policies, initiatives, and programs that were developed and issued since 2011, “this is not enough.” “There are still a lot of improvements, a lot of new policies, emerging ones, that will support renewable energy development” to enable the country to meet its goals of self-sufficiency and cleaner energy," she said. She added that the DOE currently has innovative programs that are looking at the potentials of hydrogen, fusion, offshore wind, tidal energy, and other technologies. The DOE is also working on an expanded solar rooftop program and the improvement of solid waste management, while at the same time drafting a policy on geothermal energy development. Meanwhile, Jay Layug, president of Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement, sought further improvements in the sector, citing the need in particular to upgrade the power infrastructure for RE such as building more power plants and improving transmission lines and distribution facilities. “Demand for power continues to grow and in the meantime supply is a problem,” he said, pointing out that many power plants in the country are at least 15 years old and starting to deteriorate. To solve these issues, Layug said the national government and local government units must address the challenges to private sector investment, including restrictive government regulations, rigid process for offtake agreements, numerous requirements for permits and licenses, and a lack of integration in government support. He also pressed for the pursuit of policy reform, particularly by declaring renewables as the preferred energy resource, to reduce the importation of fossil fuel and vulnerability to price volatility. His other recommendations included strengthening public-private partnerships; creating a one-stop-shop for RE; simplifying the rules for deployment of personnel, vessels, machinery, equipment spare parts and materials; and resolving inter-agency coordination issues. In the same webinar by the Liveable Cities Challenge Philippines, British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils, in her message highlighted the importance of utilizing RE in the country. “The transition to clean and renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar, which are already abundant in the Philippines, will help end the dependence on expensive imported fuel and lower electricity costs especially for lower-income, climate-vulnerable Filipino families,” Beaufils said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
PH-EITI holds first meeting under Marcos admin, approves plan to improve multi-stakeholder engagement in the extractives
Photo credit: PH-EITI The Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) convened its first Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) meeting under the Marcos administration on Friday (September 16), two weeks after the country reaffirmed its commitment to implement the EITI. EITI is the global standard for transparency and accountability in the oil, gas, and mining sectors. The MSG – the body that governs EITI implementation in the country – is chaired by the Department of Finance (DOF) and composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the PH-EITI. “This meeting demonstrates the government’s continuing commitment to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive industries,” said Finance Undersecretary and PH-EITI Focal Person and Chair Cielo Magno. To improve resource governance, the MSG agreed to strengthen spaces for multi-stakeholder participation and advocate for more spaces along the extractive industry value chain. The group also agreed to include an MSG report on the status of civic engagement in the annual country report. The MSG also discussed remaining initiatives for 2022, including the production of the FY 2021 PH-EITI Country Report, the 2022 National Conference, and a planned visit of EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to the Philippines in November 2022. The PH-EITI publishes independently reconciled data on oil, gas, coal, and mineral resources through an annual and comprehensive country report. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. Aside from disclosing extractives data to inform research and policy recommendations, the PH-EITI also provides space for multi-stakeholder participation in resource governance. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 27, 2022
Marcos admin commits to transparency and good governance in the extractive industries
Photo credit: EITI / CC BY-SA The Marcos administration demonstrated its commitment to pursue transparency in natural resource governance by rejoining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and enabling the continued development of the mining sector. In a letter to EITI Chair and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno cited the value of good governance and anti-corruption measures in maximizing the extractive sector’s contribution to resource mobilization and sustainable economic growth. EITI will complement the administration’s agenda on transparency and accountability. “We welcome the opportunity to re-engage in EITI. We also commend the progress of the EITI Board in reviewing the validation standard and making it more relevant to implementing countries. We believe that EITI is an important tool for resource-rich countries like the Philippines to improve transparency and increase accountability in the management and governance of the extractive industries,” said Secretary Diokno. Secretary Diokno said that other government agencies, as well as industry and civil society stakeholders who have been actively implementing EITI in the country, are supportive of the move to rejoin the global initiative. On June 20, 2022, the Philippines through the Department of Finance (DOF) withdrew its participation in the EITI over concerns on metrics and procedures used for assessing country compliance with the international organization’s transparency requirements. In an August 23, 2022 letter, EITI Chair Helen Clark invited Secretary Diokno to re-state the country’s commitment to the EITI on behalf of the Marcos administration and build on the progress that the Philippines has achieved in the past nine years. The PH-EITI multi-stakeholder group is chaired by the DOF and is composed of representatives from government, industry, and civil society. The government began implementing the EITI in 2013 pursuant to Section 14 of Executive Order No. 79, s. 2012 and Executive Order No. 147, s. 2013 that created the Philippine EITI (PH-EITI). Annual disclosure of contracts, financial, economic, social and environmental data is mandatory for extractive industries pursuant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2017-07. To date, the PH-EITI has produced seven country reports, covering data from mining, oil, gas, and coal industries and reconciling over P362.5 billion in government revenues from extractive projects from 2012 to 2019. In 2017, the Philippines was recognized by the EITI as the first among 50 plus countries in the world to have fully complied with the 2016 EITI Standard. The EITI updates its standard every three years and subjects member countries to validation to ascertain their compliance. Secretary Diokno said that the Marcos administration is committed to engage and unite various stakeholders in pursuing good governance and policy reforms in the country. “Rest assured that we remain committed to pursuing good governance in the extractive sector,” said Secretary Diokno. Article courtesy of the Department of Finance
Philippine Resources - September 26, 2022
Metro Manila Subway project nominated for int’l digital awards
Artist rendering of the Metro Manila Subway (Photo courtesy of DOTr) The Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) has been named as one of the finalists at the 2022 Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure for the best use of infrastructure software to save both time and money. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the general consultant for the MMSP Phase 1, the Japanese consortium Oriental Consultants Global (OC Global), developed a common digital engineering system and a “single source of truth” using ProjectWise and ComplyPro -- both programs by Bentley Software Inc. The MMSP, the DOTr said, presented communication and coordination challenges that other software programs failed to address. “The project team at OC Global realized that the implementation of collaborative BIM workflows, proactive risk management, and cost monitoring would require a connected data environment to be established,” it said. The system developed by OC Global for the MMSP enabled real-time data sharing that optimized collaboration -- saving an estimated 5,000 resource hours within the project’s first six months. “Combined with SYNCHRO for construction simulation, Bentley’s integrated technology solution identified and resolved 50 clashes, eliminating rework, shortening the project schedule, and saving costs. The successful BIM (Building Information Modeling) implementation has already achieved a return of investment of over USD600,000,” it said. The Going Digital Awards in Infrastructure is an annual event meant to honor Bentley software users for advancing infrastructure design, construction, and operations worldwide. The event’s finalists are deemed to demonstrate “excellence and digital advancements” in their respective award categories. The award winners will be announced during the program’s main event in London on Nov. 15. By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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