Renewable energy projects rose by 26% in 2023  — DoE

YUE CHAN-UNSPLASH

RENEWABLE energy (RE) commercial projects with awarded service contracts increased by 26% in 2023, led by solar technology, according to the Department of Energy (DoE).

Data from the DoE released on Tuesday showed that RE projects totaled 1,220 last year with a potential capacity of 134,813.79 megawatts (MW), higher than the 965 recorded in 2022 with a capacity of 80,396.61 MW.

Of the total, there are 434 solar projects in the country with 28,913.78 MW potential capacity. This was followed by 428 hydropower projects with 18,902.96 MW and 252 wind power projects with 85,692.964 MW.

There are also 58 biomass projects with 206.88 MW; 39 geothermal projects with 1,063.20 MW; and nine ocean energy projects with 34 MW.

Terry L. Ridon, a public investment analyst and convenor of think tank InfraWatch PH, attributed the increase in RE projects to a “better business climate under the current administration, the commitment of the Energy department to a better energy mix in the medium-term, and the relatively lower costs of building RE facilities compared to legacy facilities like coal and gas plants.”

“This is a step in the right direction as this significantly contributes to our climate commitments, and balances our reliance on coal and gas technologies,” he said in a Viber message.

He added that this momentum towards RE should prompt the government to further streamline permitting processes, particularly in local government units, to expedite the establishment of RE facilities.

As of the end of 2022, RE accounted for about 22% of the Philippines’ energy mix, with coal-fired power plants providing nearly 60%. 

Looking ahead, the government aims to increase the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera