Western Visayas has the potential capacity to produce 16,500.7 MW of renewable energy, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said on Friday, September 22.
Lotilla, in his speech at the 3rd Quarter Western Visayas Regional Development Council meeting delivered for him by Energy Undersecretary Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, said the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded 113 renewable energy service contracts in WV, with an existing installed capacity of 775.7 MW and potential capacity of 16,500.7 MW.
It is worth noting that majority of these contracts are wind energy sources, with a vast potential capacity of 14,943 MW, he said.
Lotilla said the DOE goal is to achieve 35 percent renewable energy (RE) in the country’s power generation mix by 2030, with an ambitious target of 50 percent by 2040.
“These targets are not arbitrary, they are enshrined in both the Philippine Energy Plan and the National Renewable Energy Plan, reflecting our commitment to combating climate change and transitioning toward a more sustainable and environmentally friendly power generation landscape,” he said.
Lotilla encouraged the local government units in Western Visayas to actively participate in the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System by incorporating their permitting processes into the system.
“By doing so, we can expedite the permitting process for these energy projects that will provide livelihood and development opportunities to the host communities sooner, rather than later,” he said.
He also urged all permitting agencies to take a proactive role in guiding and facilitating these renewable energy initiatives.
“Our vision for the power sector is to establish a flexible and interconnected smart and green grid, optimizing energy systems across the Philippines’ diverse island grids,” he added.
He said the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) Transmission Line Project, designed at 800 MW, will enhance the efficient transfer of energy within the Visayas sub-grid, particularly from Negros Island. Currently operating at 270 MW, the CNP Stage 3 Project is targeted for full operation by NGCP in October 2023, Lotilla said.
Western Visayas has achieved a household electrification level of 96.16 percent, which means 1,849,027 households now have electricity access, and 65,892 households have yet to be connected, he said.
The Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee has urged government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, state universities and colleges, and LGUs to harness solar energy for their government-owned buildings. This strategic move aims to reduce our vulnerability to international fuel price fluctuations, he said.
The goal to reduce emissions can also apply to the promotion of electric vehicles (EV) in the region, he added.
The RDC meeting was held at the Bago City Community Center in Bago City, Negros Occidental.*