INDIGENOUS ENERGY SOURCES
Indigenous energy refers to energy sources that are native to a particular area. These may include geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. Here in the Philippines, indigenous energy makes up 51% of the power supply, but PEIC believes this figure can go higher as indigenous energy can power up many lives, even the most remote of communities. These localized resources help reduce environmental and health risks while providing economic opportunities and jobs. Its biggest benefit? Powering the Philippine economy, sustainably fueling commerce and industries and improving the living conditions of urban and rural communities.
The Philippines has several established indigenous energy sources, such as the Maria Cristina Falls in Lanao del Norte, a major source of hydroelectric power in Mindanao, and Malampaya natural gas reservoir, located offshore northwest of Palawan in the West Philippine sea. Indigenous energy in the country is expected to grow 11.2% yearly from 2019 to 2030.
Solar energy is power transmitted from the sun which can generate thermal and electric power. Through a process called fusion, the sun produces energy in its inner core in the form of solar radiation. The sunlight is composed of particles called photon (the basic unit of all light), that when it hits a solar cell, it loosens electrons from their atoms. By attaching a conductor to a cell’s positive and negative sides, this generates power caused by electric flow in the circuit.
The Philippines had a total generation of 1,201,152 megawatt-hours in 2018 with the highest being in Luzon with 495,984 megawatt-hours.
The airflow coming from the Earth’s atmosphere produces power, through kinetic energy created by air motion. The wind will hit the turbine’s blades causing them to rotate. The changes in kinetic energy will then turn the shaft connected to a generator, thus producing electricity.
The Philippines currently has six wind power projects all over Luzon and Visayas. Bangui Bay, Burgos, Caparispisan, and Pililla are all situated in Luzon, and the San Lorenzo and Nabas sites in Visayas.
Derived from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat), geothermal energy is a form of renewable energy continuously produced from inside of the Earth. Wells as deep as six kilometers are drilled into underground reservoirs of steam and hot water to bring geothermal power into the surface. The steam will spin the turbine attached to a generator, which will then produce electricity.
Since the Philippines is in the Pacific Ring of Fire, there is a lot of geothermal energy that the country can take resource from. According to DOE, the Philippines has the 5th largest geothermal reserve in the world.
This form of renewable energy makes use of moving water in adequate amounts for it to generate power. The water in motion (or “potential energy”) spilled over in a dam or a hill will then be converted into kinetic energy as it flows downhill. The water used can rotate the power plant’s turbines to release energy, which will then be distributed to consumers.
The Philippines has a total of 15 dams in operation with a total storage value of 8.67 x 109 m3. The country’s hydroelectric power plants have been operating in provinces like the Agua-Grande Hydroelectric Power Plant in Ilocos Norte and Agusan 2 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Bukidnon.
Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and is used in power generation and even transport. Electricity is generated in several ways: the open cycle is where the natural gas is burned to produce pressurized gas, which will spin a turbine’s blade that is also attached to a generator. While the other, combined cycle, goes through a similar process except that it uses water steam that is connected to a second turbine. Natural gas is a cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy source—with about 22% of the world depending on it. With its many benefits, many developing countries are switching from coal to natural gas.
In the Philippines, the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project in Palawan has been supplying up to 30% of power in the country since it came into fruition in 2001. It is a historic initiative that gave Filipinos Philippine-made natural gas that gives power to homes and industries. However, as with any natural resource, it is expected to reduce production by the mid-2020s.