Written by Juzel L. Danganan
MANILA — The Philippines seized the second spot for the biggest geothermal capacity in the world for 2014, with a total capacity of 1.9 Gigawatts (GWs), according to the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
In a chart, the study revealed the Philippines holds the second spot for total capacity of geothermal fields for 2014.
The United States won the top spot with a capacity of 3.5 GW, while Indonesia came in third at 1.4 GW.
Both Mexico and New Zealand followed with a capacity of 1 GW.
The study noted the increase of capacity for the Philippines was brought by the operations of the 49.4-Megawatts (MW) Nasulo facility in 2014 and the 20-MW Maibarara power plant in 2013.
It added the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, had driven geothermal energy development to become more attractive.
The report said the Philippines saw huge geothermal capacity gains from 2010-2030, after gaining 1.5 GW of capacity within only two decades.
Aside from the spot for generation capacity, the report said the Philippines has also grabbed the second place for the main geothermal field operators for 2014, through the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) holding 1.2 GW.
It was topped by US-based Chevron and Calpine, which operates geothermal fields at 1.3 GW each.
Mexican state utility Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and Italy’s Enel Green Power came in the fourth place, with 1 GW each, while US-based Ormat controlled 0.9 GW of geothermal power.
On a global scale, geothermal power capacity for 2014 reached 74 Terawatts (TW), having a 1.8 percent growth since 2013.
Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed the 1.9 MW figure for the Philippines, with the country generating 1,868 MW of geothermal capacity, an increase of 20 MW over installed capacity in 2012.
The DOE said it has no estimate yet on how much geothermal potential capacity the Philippines has, but reported four reconnaissance geological and geochemical surveys were conducted in Cagayan, Laguna, Camarines Norte and Antique.
However, the DOE awarded a service contract to Filtech Energy Drilling Corporation (FEDCO) on February 2014, to pre-develop the geothermal areas in Calamba, Laguna.
It has also awarded the Certificate of Commerciality (COC) to Biliran Geothermal Inc. for the 50-MW Biliran Geothermal Project. It targets to complete construction by November 2018.
To stimulate more power capacity, the DOE has also offered geothermal sites through the launch of the Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP) held on February 2015. (PNA)