As Mindanao faces pressing energy and environmental challenges due to rapid industrialization and population growth, it has set a grand target of achieving a 50-percent renewable energy (RE) share in the overall energy mix by 2030.
In a press briefing Monday, Monalisa Dimalanta, chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission, noted that Mindanao is already at 37 percent in terms of renewable energy generation capacity – higher than the national target of 35 percent.
At a peak demand at 2,167 megawatts (MW) based on the Department of Energy’s 2022 data and installed capacity at already 4,570 MW, Mindanao is the only island that has excess capacity, according to Dimalanta.
“I think it’s doable, that’s why I’m excited to see the outcome of this congress because there has to be that detailed plan. Getting to 50 percent is not just a matter of increasing the generation, it has to be balanced,” Dimalanta said, referring to the two-day Mindanao Clean Energy Forum 2023 and Renewable Energy (RE) Congress that started here Monday.
To hit the 50-percent goal, Dimalanta said it is necessary to consider generation, cost, and system requirements.
Jose Raul Saniel, president of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives and general manager of Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative, sees the possibility of achieving the 50-percent RE mix in 2030.
“For us to be able to achieve this, Mindanao’s economy must grow. There should be big investments coming in so that we, the electric cooperatives, can contract with RE and cope with the increasing demand for power in the future,” he said.
“If you look at the electric cooperatives right now, most of our contracts are long-term with fossil-based fuel. This forum is a perfect venue for us to be able to consider renewable energy.”
Mindanao Development Authority Executive Director and Undersecretary Janet Lopoz said Mindanao is on track toward the 50-percent objective and is currently harnessing the potential of RE solutions.
“By setting the goal of achieving a 50-percent RE mix by 2030, we are not only demonstrating our commitment to mitigating climate change but also unlocking new economic opportunities and ensuring energy security. It’s time to elevate our ambitions and level up our actions,” she said.
Mindanao, with its abundant natural resources, is well-positioned to be a trailblazer in the transition to renewable energy, Lopoz said.
“The island region has immense potential for harnessing clean energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower,” she said. (PNA)