AT least 300 participants from the energy industry, academe, civil society organizations, youth, indigenous peoples and women across the country have converged at the 6th Renewable Energy Congress that was held jointly with the 1st Mindanao Clean Energy Forum on Monday and Tuesday at Acacia Hotel in Davao City.
This first collaborative event co-organized by the Center for Empowerment, Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Mindanao Development Authority, and MinREACH aimed to call the attention of government and various stakeholders on the need to accelerate the deployment and utilization of renewable energy in the country towards achieving affordable, reliable, and sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
In her opening remarks, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Secretary Maria Belen Acosta stressed that Mindanao had set years ago a goal of 50-percent RE by 2030. Now, the RE’s share in Mindanao’s power generation mix is already more than 35 percent, which is the national RE target for 2030.
“Increasing RE to 35 percent by 2030 is like a homecoming journey,” said Energy Regulatory Commission CEO and Chair Atty. Monalisa Dimalanta. She recalled that when the Renewable Energy Act was passed in 2008, RE’s share in the power mix was already 34 percent.
“Renewable energy should be at the core of energy planning, which is happening now,” Dimalanta added. “Higher RE share is achievable, but we need to work together to realize this. Since the 1930s, renewable energy has been the bedrock of the energy industry.”
Dimalanta congratulated the Minda for the current high RE share in Mindanao. “The 50-percent RE target is a very realistic ambition for Mindanao,” she nohted. As of October 2023, the share of renewable energy in Mindanao’s power generation mix is already at 39 percent.
According to Atty. Richard Nethercott, CEO of Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (Iemop). However, energy transition is not yet the case in the Philippines. Having access to electricity remains a big concern in many parts in the country especially in Mindanao.
Charlie Ayco, president of CentRE stressed that the whole energy industry is changing. “Power generation used to be site-specific. But because of technology, we can already have a miniature power plant on our roofs through solar rooftop.” Ayco explained that we need not just focus on huge power plants. What we need to do to ensure available and affordable electricity is find a way for households to generate their own electricity because “the cheapest electricity is when you produce your own electricity.”