Philippine renewable share lags 30% global average

THE PHILIPPINES generated 22% of its power from renewables in 2023, lagging the global average of 30%, according to think tank Ember.

“The Philippines has not seen a similar expansion in solar and wind, reaching a share of just 3.2% in 2023,” Ember said in a statement on Thursday. 

“In comparison, its neighbor Vietnam reached a 13% share for solar and wind in 2023,” it added.

Ember said that the Philippines relies on fossil fuels for 78% of its electricity and its per capita power sector emissions are below the global average.

Low-carbon sources accounted for more than a fifth of the country’s electricity, with the majority from hydropower and geothermal.

Solar and wind provided just 2.5%, which is below the global average of 13% and the average among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations of 4.4%

“The Philippines saw its power sector emissions nearly double in the last 10 years as rising demand was met with a more than doubling of coal power generation,” the think tank said.

Ember’s Global Electricity Review 2024 provides the first comprehensive overview of the global power system in 2023 based on country-level data.

The think tank said that the growth in solar and wind pushed the world past 30% renewable electricity for the first time in 2023.

“A renewables-powered future is now becoming a reality,” Ember’s Asia Programme Director Aditya Lolla said. “Solar power, in particular, is growing at an unprecedented pace.”

It said solar has been the fastest-growing electricity source for a 19th year and surpassed wind to become the largest source of new electricity for a second year running.

The government aims to increase the share of renewable energy to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040. 

Department of Energy (DoE) estimates indicate that as of February, coal had a share of 43.8% in power generation, with installed capacity for coal-fired power plants amounting to 12,406 megawatts (MW).

The DoE said that at least 4,164.92 MW of power projects will become operational in 2024.

It is looking at the completion and commercial operation of 1,984.775 MW worth of solar capacity.

Of the total, 966.294 MW are expected to come online by June 2024 while 494.888 MW are undergoing testing and commissioning. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera