Clean energy sources will be ‘green with envy’ as coal fuel sustained its dominance in the country’s power generation mix last year with a share of 54.6 percent, according to Department of Energy (DOE) data presented in the Senate.

DOE Logo - Coal still accounts for 54.6% of PH power mix

Coal’s fraction in the power generation pie was followed by natural gas with 21.1 percent share; then geothermal at 10.1 percent; hydro at 7.1 percent; oil at 3.5 percent; while renewable energy (RE) was practically dwarfed at 3.1 percent.

Total electricity generation last year had been higher by 6.3-percent to 106,041 gigawatt-hours, according to the energy department.

For RE-based power generation, the department indicated that this was down by 5.5 percent to 22,044GWh. The array of RE resources, including hydro, geothermal and the variable sources like wind and solar, contributed 20.8 percent in the power mix a year ago.

In a separate report by the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), it was emphasized that “coal and natural gas accounted for more than 75 percent of the generation mix in 2019, while geothermal and hydro came second in providing the bulk of the over-all supply.”

IEMOP, which is the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), noted the other technologies like oil and RE had “minimal share in the generation mix,” and they likewise vary slightly in every quarter.

Nonetheless, the spot market operator qualified that in the first quarter of 2019, “coal had its lowest share in the generation mix at 47.7 percent primarily due to forced/maintenance outages of coal plants.”

And within the period when the coal capacities had been out from the system, it was shown that “generation from natural gas plants had increased.”

Within the second quarter; generation from coal plants ramped up; while the output of gas plants were on downtrend. The third quarter scenario, on the other, exhibited increase in hydro output “as a result of the rainy season,” which often increases reservoir level at the dams.

On the whole year though, IEMOP primarily stated that “coal and natural gas still accounted for more than three-fourths of the generation mix.”

Wind plants, according to the spot market operator, would normally have higher level of generation during “Amihan season” and that often occurs toward the tail-end and early months of the year.

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