DOE conducts consultation for RE usage

In its push for more usage of Renewable Energy (RE) in the country, the Department of Energy (DOE) held a public consultation in the Visayan region on the code of practice of “Renewable Energy Safety, Health and Environment Rules and Regulations (RESHERR).”

“The quest now is for more REs for use in the Philippines, we are trying to increase its capacity. So, it’s important that we have safety, health and environment rules for the stakeholders in the industry to follow,” said Department of Energy Undersecretary Ramon Oca.

Oca was here in Cebu for a forum on coal usage. He said during the forum they will share best practices among stakeholders to avoid pollution caused by coal ash.

This is the last leg of consultations with private RE stakeholders before the final national consultation that would give birth to the country’s code of practices for renewable energy use. The participants were coming from region six, seven, and eight. Most of them were companies, who produced their own electricity either from hydro, biomass, geothermal, or wind energy.

In Cebu, DOE identified three types of REs that are being developed by private firms, informed Mario Marasigan, director of Renewable Energy Management of Bureau-DOE.

These are wind energy in the southern part of Cebu City, Minglanilla and Toledo City, biomass within the Metro Cebu, and the hydro facilities in Carmen and in Badian. These however, are still on pre-development stage.

“We hope that these renewable projects can proceed,” said Marasigan in an interview during the consultation last June 5 at Elizabeth Hotel. But he is doubtful if these resources are enough to satisfy the demand for RE in the province of Cebu granting these were developed into full capacity. He said they are still looking for more REs in Cebu.

Oca added they are also looking for more oil and gas deposits in the island. Last 2011, DOE through its contractor Desco Inc. had successfully converted the natural gas it has explored in Bogo City into electricity.

Currently, Cebu’s base load capacity is 437.5 megawatts with a large chunk of it coming from coal fired power plants, Kepco Salcon Power Corporation and Cebu Energy Development Corporation. In an answer to another shortfall projected in the coming years, another coal plant is set to be constructed in Toledo City by the Aboitiz Equity Ventures.