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Philippines Country Report

Philippines country report

Power Situation and Current Status on R&D

Miguel T. Escoto, Jr.1

1Program Coordinator, Energy Engineering Graduate Program

Professor of Electrical & Electronics Engineering Institute, University of the Philippines

E-mail: miguel.escoto*, miguel.escoto* (replace * with @)


The Philippines energy power situation is presented briefly for the three major islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. An energy summit on power was recently held in Mindanao. A few highlights are presented in this paper.

Coherent Research and Development (R&D) programs for renewable energy (RE) are crucial for the rapid development of new technologies as well as designing policy strategies, especially for energy security and climate change.

Keywords: Base load, peak, energy audit, agt, r&d research areas



Brief; country current energy outlook on energy production, consumption and reserves, which includes updated renewable and alternative energy potential.

As the country faces the realities of growing energy demand, tight energy supply, limited foreign investments and critical power development issues, the Department of Energy released the Philippine Energy Plan highlighting the plans and programs of the energy sector to fuel support for the economic growth of the country for the period 2009-2030. Specifically, the Plan will deal with the future of energy development which is very vital to the country’s prosperity.

Energy Production

The three major islands capacity mix is shown in Fig 1. The base load power plants are predominantly geothermal, natural gas, and coal in Luzon. For the Visayas region, base load plants are coal and geothermal. For the Mindanao region, base load plants comprise hydro, solar, coal and geothermal. Base load power plants are the facilities used to meet some or all of a given continuous energy demand and produce energy at a constant rate, usually at a lower cost relative to other facilities.

The total generation is about 67,743 Gigawatt- hours. About 26.3% was contributed by renewable energy, as shown in Fig 2. Shown also is a comparison with some Asean countries and the European Union. It is noted that more advanced countries have a larger dependency on non- renewable energy.

Luzon Grid

With the scheduled retirement of the 650- MW Malaya Oil Thermal plant, dependable capacity of existing power plants in the Luzon grid will decrease to 9.380 MW in 2011 from the 10,030 MW in 2009.
However, with the completion of Bacman Plant Unit I-2 and Unit II rehabilitation in 2011 and 2013, an additional 74.3 MW will be added in the system.
With the projected 4.5 percent annual average growth rate on the peak demand, the critical period in Luzon grid, (where the capacity will not be able to meet the demand and the reserve margin requirement) is projected in 2011. On the same year the system needs an additional peaking capacity of 300 MW (Figure 3). Within the next 20 years, Luzon grid will require an additional capacity of 12,500 MW, 600 MW of which are already committed leaving the balance of 11,900 MW to be filled-in from the list of indicative power projects. Based on these capacity requirements, Luzon grid will require the following generic capacities: (i) 5,000 MW base-load plant; (ii) 3,900 MW mid-range plant; and (iii) 3,000 MW peaking plant.

Visayas Grid

The supply of power in the Visayas grid remains tight between 2010-2011. With the coming-in of the following committed capacities, supply situation in the Visayas is expected to normalize within the short-term: (i) 3 x 80 MW coal-fired plant from Cebu Energy Development Corporation in March 2010 for Unit I, June 2010 for Unit II and January 2011 for Unit III; (ii) 200 MW Cebu coal-fired plant from Kepco; (iii) 160 MW Panay coal-fired plant from Global Green Power; (iii) 20 MW geothermal plant from Energy Development Corporation; and (iv) 17.5 MW biomass-fed plant from Global Green Power. See Figure 4.

However, based on the results of 2009-2030 demand forecast exercises, Visayas grid is projected to increase its annual electricity requirement by 4.6 percent until 2030. With this projection, the system needs a total of 2,150 MW additional capacities on top of the committed power projects thereby assuming 2018 as the grid’s new critical period.

Mindanao Grid

Mindanao grid is heavily dependent on hydroelectric power plant. In fact, 53.0 percent of the 1,682 MW total dependable capacities in 2009 is from hydro. With the coming in of the existing committed capacities and with the assumption that hydro facilities in the grid will run on its normal condition, supply requirement in Mindanao will satisfy the projected annual increase of 4.6 percent in peak demand. However, to prevent the recurrence of another round of supply deficit in Mindanao, the grid will need an additional capacity of 2,500 MW starting in 2010. This is on top of the following 100 MW committed capacities: (i) 42 MW Sibulan Hydro by mid 2010; (ii) 8 MW Cabulig hydro in 2011; and (iii) 50 MW Mt. Apo III geothermal plant in 2014. The additional supply requirement can be broken down into the following generic capacities: 2,000 MW for base-load plant and 500 MW for peaking plant. A 50 MW in 2010 and another 50 MW in 2011, both peaking power plants, are needed to augment the supply of capacity in the system. See Figure 5.


Renewable Energy

The Philippines roughly has an alternate energy supply source based on hydro power, geothermal power and a few wind solar installations. Figure 6 shows the Renewable Energy Sector accounts for 38.9% (near 40%) of the primary energy mix. Figures 7 and 8 compares the Philippine renewable energy mix relative to its Asean and European neighbors, individually and in aggregate respectively. Table 2 shows the renewable energy targets, approximately doubled by the year 2030.

Committed Power Projects

Private sector initiated committed power projects totaled 1,338 MW. In Luzon, the 600 MW coal- fired plant from GN Power will come on-stream before the end of 2012. In Visayas, of the 638 MW total committed power projects, 600 MW will come from coal-fired power plant and the remaining 38 MW is from renewable energy. In Mindanao, the 100.5 MW total committed projects are all renewables. The first Unit of 42.5 MW Sibulan hydro went online at 16.5 MW on April 2010, the operation of this power plant was delayed compared to its original target date of February 2010. The 50 MW Mindanao III geothermal plant was moved to 2014 from its original target of 2010.
Additional capacities are needed on top of the committed capacities to meet the increasing electricity requirement of the country broken down into the following grid requirements: (i) 72.0 percent or 11,900 MW for the Luzon grid; (ii) 13.0 percent or 2,150 MW for the Visayas grid; and (iii) 15.0 percent or 2,500 MW for the Mindanao grid as shown in Table 1.


Energy Engineering Graduate Program at the University of the Philippines

The academic program embarks on the following areas for research.

  1. Solar PV
    Emerson Network Power-On-grid Tied 4.8Kwp Solar PV System
    Solar Lighting project of the UP Amphitheater with PNOC Renewables
    Proposal for PV test facility
    Dyes for sensitized solar cells
  2. Ocean Renewable Energy
    Nanyang Technical University for wind and Marine energy research.
    Studies are being made on wave energy, tidal current, and in stream current.
  3. Bioethanol/ Bio Fuels
    Sweet sorghum
    Algae culture for nutraceuticals and energy
  4. Biomass/ Biogas
    Biogas from swine manure thesis
    Active Carbon Pellets
  5. Energy Audit Projects
    Energy Audit Study of the academic and office buildings
    Energy Audit Program for Quezon Hall
  6. Waste to Energy – biogas from metropolitan waste with an anaerobic digester,
    methane gas
  7. Wind power
    DOST Research Project: ERDT: Wind Power Generator System (2KW)
    Balik Scientist Program: on wind power systems development
    for Wind station measurement system
  8. Transport Studies
    Comparison runs between Auto-LPG, Diesel and Electric Vehicle (Lead Acid Battery) are currently being studied under fixed route , various drive cycle conditions. The 22 km route involves regular passenger usage by commuters.
  9. Automated Guided Transport System, AGT, is also being tested. Figures 9 an
    10 show the test track. It is about 1km long. It is an elevated “T” section wit a central channel that guides the front wheels for cruising and turning. The tes AGT vehicle is shown in Figure 11.


It is hoped that the current research efforts in ocean energy research may displace 20% to 30% of the current diesel generation of electric power for our islands, of about 100MW diesel power barges. Tidal power current is currently being measured and yield potential is being established. As small 10KW tidal stream proto-type is on test by BRM Power systems.
Wind projects too, 16MW Horizontal Wind Turbine systems are intended to displace diesel power generation. Small power wind system deployment (500W- 2KW) too for the local organic, off grid for electricity is a target for rural farming communities.
The electric audit too in the university allowed for about 0.5M PHP savings a month, among the 20 academic and office buildings of the University of the Philippines, Diliman, served by the Manila Electric Company, the electric power distribution utility.
The AGT should be able to serve the 8,000 commuters of the University of the Philippines, which spreads over approximately, 200 hectares of land area.


( Department of Energy, Philippines website material as of August, 2012) : 2010 Power Situationer 2012 MEDP: Medium Energy Development Plan : Philippine Energy Plan :(OVCRD grant results in savings for UPD, as of Oct. 2012) :(estimated from map layout, as of Oct. 2012)