Failing Miserably

According to the Bloomberg New Energy Outlook (NEO), renewable energy will lord over the power mix by 2050.

The NEO notes that since the 1970s, fossil fuels have dominated with 60 to 70 percent of the global power generation, but this would soon come to an end.

By 2050, almost 50 percent of total power globally will come from solar and wind technology. Together with hydro, nuclear and other renewables, the total contribution of zero carbon power will be 71 percent.In contrast, fossil fuels will only account for 29 percent, down from its current 63 percent contribution.

The shift to 50 percent renewable energy power scenario is driven by the falling prices of solar PV, wind, and battery technologies. The average PV plant costs will fall by 71 percent by 2050 according to experts. My own personal experience has shown that. Wind is also expected to drop to 58 percent.


A major shift to renewable energy is possible due partly to falling prices of battery storage. Photo c/o Edgy Labs

Battery capacity will receive a total of $548 billion in investments, which will account for its expected price drop. One of my business partners has invested in the flywheel battery storage technology and is experiencing a surge in demand for his batteries.

Indeed, the world is heading towards greater use of sustainable energy. How I wish we can say the same for our country.

It is no secret that the Philippines seems to be heading towards the opposite direction as one of our senators pointed out recently. In fact, just recently the Department of Energy (DOE) has recommended the importation of dirtier fuel, Euro-2 compliant type of fuels. The Philippines is now importing Euro-4 compliant, a much higher quality fuel. Euro 2 is cheaper because its quality is poorer. You get what you pay for.

Senator Loren Legarda, a staunch advocate of renewable energy, has lamented that the Philippines is failing miserably in implementing the Renewable Energy law passed 10 years ago.

In a speech, she stressed that “While many initially thought that the adoption of the RE law in December 2008 represented a firm and decisive policy position on the country’s shift to cleaner and indigenous forms of energy, stakeholders, to date, continue to grapple with mixed signals from those charged with implementing the RE law.”

Legarda added that the Philippines had increased its coal imports at a yearly average of 12.8 percent from 1989 to 2015.

From 2015 to 2016, coal imports volume was even higher by 16% from 17.3 metric tons to 20 metric tons.

She also lamented the growth of installed capacities of coal-fired plants which climbed by 87% from 3,967 MW in 2005 to 7,419 MW in 2016. Another 10,423 MW is in the pipeline.

In contrast, there has been a decline in the renewables’ share in 2016 from 32% from 33.5% in 2005, while coal climbed from 25% in 2005 to 35% in 2016.

Time and time again, renewable energy advocates like myself openly call out to the government to take serious measures to fulfill what the RE law requires.

Other countries including neighbors such as India are making significant progress in their goals to shift to greater use of renewables. Unfortunately, the Philippines is nowhere near its goal of sourcing 30 percent of power from clean sources.

Legarda said it well when she reminded us that it had taken 18 years to pass the law, but it seems harder to implement it: “It was hard then, but even more so now, to convince naysayers on the importance of renewable energy in the country’s development agenda…To date, those charged with implementing these policy mechanisms seem to want to continue the debate on matters decided upon by legislators ten years ago.”

Hopefully, those in charge see the need of implementing the RE law swiftly. Our recent experience with the monsoon rains in the second week of August, which left Metro Manila and nearby areas flooded should convince us that we need to take care of the environment. This includes following laws intended to spare us from the effects of climate change. Plus, of course, we need renewable power for a more sustainable economic growth.


New Energy Outlook 2018:

5 thoughts on “Failing Miserably

  1. there is a higher up conspiracy to make renewable energy project grow at snail-pace, to mention MERALCO, it is lording over the electricity rates to its 6 million or more CAPTIVE CONSUMERS, when they raise electricity rates; the already very poor consumers in Metro Manila can never hear an objection from the DOE. Are these guys in the DOE are also captive, and inutile with the powers of MERALCO?


    • Thank you for your comments. This only means we need to be more vigilant. Maybe we need to conduct information campaigns on our own so the general public will be more aware of the issues. Please feel free to share my views here to your friends and associates.


  2. Greetings from Yokohama, Japan.
    On Saturday we remotely took part in the hearing for the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by PG&E. The plant is poised to close in 2025. We introduced a concept to keep the plant open and just remove the nuclear part. Storage of renewable energy wth PERRYMAN BATTERIES will allow running the plant on renewables, as the thermal batteries will allow to remove the problems of heavy fluctuation in power supply from solar and wind power and make these energy sources baseload capable.
    In other words, all the turbines and electrical gear can stay in place and be powered by wind and solar. 4500 thermal batteries with 11 MWh storage capacity each (our economy model, where space is available) on 3 hectares of land could do the trick. The price tag of $1.35 billion sounds high, but is peanuts in view of the savings and the fact that such a plant, which has cost $5.7 billion when built 30 years ago, would cost over $15 billion now.

    We will now enter into discussions about technical details with PG&E.

    This model will also work with gas- and coal-fired power plants and even easier. We are discussing the system currently with three power plant operators in Europe as well.

    Such a system would allow easier integration of renewables into the current energy supply system.


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