The ASEAN Post Team | The ASEAN Post
QUICK READ: As the effects of climate change are clearly visible around the world, a source of affordable clean energy is very much needed, and this is where geothermal can come in.
Today, there are nearly eight billion people living on the planet. As this number continues to grow, the need for water, food, land, and energy will also rise. The climate is one of the earth’s fundamental life support systems which determines if the planet is habitable or not. Rapid development in many countries, deforestation for agriculture, ever-growing cities, mining, and industries have all contributed to a drastic change in the earth’s climate.
The Philippines, home to an estimated 111 million people, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including sea level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, rising temperatures and extreme rainfall. Just last year, the country was hit by a number of deadly natural disasters such as Super Typhon Goni and Typhoon Vamco whilst battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), “there is no path to protecting the climate without dramatically changing how we produce and use electricity.”
Therefore, many organizations, activists, and experts are preaching about powering a greener future through affordable clean energy.
The Philippines’ current energy mix highly favors fossil fuels, with coal, natural gas, and oil, which account for 73.5 percent of the country’s total energy needs. This is mainly because these are relatively cheaper sources, especially coal—which is the country’s most heavily used energy source. Out of the country’s 75,266-gigawatt hour (GWh) electricity demand in 2013, approximately 42.6 percent was sourced from coal.
However, Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States (US) stated that a wide variety of environmental impacts are associated with generating electricity from coal.
As the effects of climate change are clearly visible around the world, including the Philippines, a source of affordable clean energy is very much needed. Organizations around the world have also stressed about building a better world after COVID-19 through affordable clean energy.
An energy source that has the potential to make a difference in the Philippines is geothermal.
Southeast Asia is home to 25 percent of the world’s geothermal generation capacity. Most, if not all of this geothermal capacity is located in Indonesia and the Philippines—both ranked as the second and third largest producers of geothermal energy in the world, according to geothermal news site Think GeoEnergy in 2019.
Geothermal energy is a form of renewable energy produced by heat from the earth. It is considerably safer than most other energy sources. The environmental impact of geothermal energy is minimal, especially when compared to fossil fuel power plants.
The Philippines is one of the world’s top producers of geothermal power, as it is located along the Ring of Fire zone of Pacific volcanoes. However, in 2018, the country dropped in the global rankings for geothermal countries, just behind Indonesia. This prompted the Philippines to consider revamping its geothermal development again.
In June 2018, the country launched a new string of exploration surveys, which is an addition to roughly 10 contracts with power companies on geothermal exploration, said Think GeoEnergy.
The Philippines currently has seven geothermal fields which supply about 12 percent of the nation’s energy, with a long-term plan to nearly double capacity by 2040. According to a report titled, “Philippines Geothermal Energy Industry 2020-2025: Trends, Developments, Policies, Regulations and Key Players,” the Philippine government has a target to phase out its coal usage by 2040 and focus more on affordable clean energy production from natural gas and renewables. This will potentially create several opportunities for the country’s geothermal energy market in the future.
The Philippines’ Department of Energy stated in its report titled, “Philippine Energy Plan 2016-2030,” that geothermal energy will continue to be the country’s major renewable energy resource in 2030, accounting for more than 40 percent of the total renewable energy under the government’s Business As Usual (BAU) Scenario.
To note, the report presented a few scenarios and the BAU scenario simulates how the future supply of energy will evolve without further government policy intervention and as the most likely to happen scenario.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a geothermal trailblazer and leading renewable energy company, believes that geothermal is the key to establishing a stable energy baseload suited to the constant yet dynamic power needs of the Philippines’ developing economy.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.