Japan ministry drafts action plan to assist PH power sector
The Japanese government has drawn up a proposed power sector action plan for the Philippines aimed at helping solve electricity problems in the country such as rising demand and high cost for consumers.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the plan was directly handed to the government of the Philippines during the first meeting of the Japan-Philippines Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation and Infrastructure last March 27.
“As one of the most dramatically growing economies in Asia, the Philippines is now facing an increase in electricity demand and therefore needs to ensure the capacity to supply sufficient electricity to satisfy expected needs,” METI said in a statement.
Based on the plan, the Philippines needs a total of 17,338 megawatts in additional generating capacity by 2030.
This is distributed at 10,070 MW for Luzon; 3,618 MW for Visayas, and 3,650 MW for Mindanao.
According to the Department of Energy, current capacity totaled about 14,000 MW nationwide while demand was pegged at 13,000 MW.
The DOE wants to raise capacity to 16,000 MW in order to have enough reserve for the present level of demand.
“At the same time, the [Philippines] faces challenges in the power sector such as higher electricity tariff than those in other Asian countries and a low electrification rate in regional areas such as in Mindanao,” Japan’s METI added.
The ministry said the electricity tariff in the Philippines “has decreased … but it is still the highest price in Asia.”
Through the action plan, Japan put forward suggestions on how to address the energy situation in the Philippines, including:
Improvement of power-generation efficiency by renovating existing coal-fired and hydroelectric power plants;
Introduction of renewable energy by using the country’s abundant natural resources, including geothermal, wind and coal, and
Improvement of the energy balance (mix of resources) through introduction of an LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal
The drawing up of the action plan was among the results of the Japan-Philippines summit held last January.
“Japan is prepared to provide different forms of assistance by utilizing technology and know-how to solve problems facing the power sector in the Philippines,” METI said, referring to possible loans and technical aid.