Considered as the first and largest on-grid solar photovoltaic power plant in Mindanao, the 1 megawatt solar power plant of the Cagayan Electric Power and light Corporation in Barangay Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City provides renewable energy to more than 900 households.

Manila---A focused target to keep Mindanao’s energy mix diversified with premium on renewable energy (RE) sources augurs well for the country’s clean energy agenda, says an official from Malacañang’s economic think-tank in Mindanao.   

Romeo M. Montenegro, director for Investment Promotion and Public Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said that accelerating RE projects points to a logical way forward of achieving an ideal energy mix.

Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 at the ADB Headquarters in Pasig City, Montenegro cited that Mindanao’s current energy mix of 60-40 in favor of RE will see significant reversal to 70-30 dominated by fossil in 2018.

Latest report from the Department of Energy (DOE) indicated a total of 1,800 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity in Mindanao from coal-fired power plants coming online by 2018, with the first 300MW from Aboitiz Therma South already delivering power to the grid since late last year.

In a bid to offset the rise of fossil and keep a balanced energy mix in Mindanao, MinDA, through its Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee has set-up a One Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center to help accelerate deployment of RE projects in the island.

The monitoring system, developed with support from USAID’s Climate Change and Clean Energy (CEnergy) Project, currently tracks the progress of 284 RE projects in Mindanao, mostly in the pre-development stage and with a total potential generation capacity of 3,773 MW. DOE had since adopted the system to include RE projects in the Visayas and Luzon, through a mechanism called Energy Virtual One Shared System (EVOSS).

“We want to purposively address a ‘business as usual’ scenario where majority of Mindanao’s energy sources by 2030 will come from mostly fossil technology, and now is the time to trigger rapid RE deployment,” Montenegro stressed.

Considered as a trailblazing government facilitation project to promote clean energy sources, MinDA and DOE are set to showcase the program as a 'best practice' at the USAID-organized Asia Low Emissions Development Strategies (LEDS) Forum later this month in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Mindanao, which is relatively well endowed with renewable energy sources mostly hydro, is aiming to achieve a regime of reliable, sustainable and reasonable power.

Last year, the Philippines submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations (UN), committing to cut by 70 percent its carbon emissions by 2030.

In keeping with the committed target, the government is looking at reviewing current energy policies with the end view of creating and enforcing a conducive policy framework to stimulate clean energy investments.

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