Renewable energy in the Philippines

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In 2013, renewable energy provided 26.44% of the total electricity in the Philippines and 19,903 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electrical energy out of a total demand of 75,266 gigawatt-hours.[1] The Philippines is a net importer of fossil fuels. For the sake of energy security, there is momentum to develop renewable energy sources. The types available include hydropower, geothermal power, wind power, solar power and biomass power. The government of the Philippines has legislated a number of policies in order to increase the use of renewable energy by the country.

The government has committed to raising to 50% the contribution of renewables of its total electricity generating capacity,[2] with 15.3 gigawatts (GW) by 2030.[3] The move would help the country in its commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.[4]


There is momentum to decrease reliance on fossil fuels due to the negative effects such as pollution, climate change and financial uncertainty because of fluctuating fuel prices.[5][6] Legislation passed by the Congress of the Philippines to support the use of renewable energy include the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (2001);[7] the Biofuels Act (2006), which encourages the use of biomass fuels;[8] the Renewable Energy Act (2008);[9][10] and the Climate Change Act (2009), which provides a legal basis for addressing climate change through sustainable development.[11]

Renewable energy implementation is important to the Philippines for several reasons.[12] The geographic characteristics of the country make it vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Rising sea levels are a threat because the Philippines is an archipelago with many cities located in coastal areas. As the coastline recedes due to rising seas, coastal cities become vulnerable to flooding. Climate change has also been linked to changing weather patterns and extreme weather events.[13]

Reliance on fossil fuels is detrimental to the energy security of the Philippines.[14] The Philippines is a net importer of fossil fuels. In 2012, the Philippines imported 20 million tons of coal. Eight million tons were produced domestically.[15] In 2010, the Philippines imported 54 million barrels of oil and produced 33,000 barrels.[16] Given this dependence on imported coal and oil, the Philippines is vulnerable to price fluctuations and supply constraints.[6]

The Philippine Department of Energy wrote:

“The harnessing and utilization of renewable energy comprises a critical component of the government's strategy to provide energy supply for the country. This is evident in the power sector where increased generation from geothermal and hydro resources has lessened the country's dependency on imported and polluting fuels. In the government's rural electrification efforts, on the other hand, renewable energy sources such as solar, micro-hydro, wind and biomass resources are seeing wide-scale use.”[17]


The Philippines utilizes renewable energy sources including hydropower, geothermal and solar energy, wind power and biomass resources.[citation needed] In 2013, these sources contributed 19,903 GWh of electrical energy, representing 26.44 percent of the country's electricity needs.[1] Among the renewable energy sources available in the country, geothermal shows to be the cheapest and most (economically) attractive energy source followed by wind, hydropower, and lastly, solar PV.[18]

Renewable electricity production (GWh) by source[1][19]
Year Geothermal Hydropower Biomass Solar Wind Total




Renewables % of

electricity production

2003 9,822 7,870 0 0 0 17,692 52,941 33.42%
2004 10,282 8,593 0 0 0 18,875 55,957 33.73%
2005 9,902 8,387 0 2 17 18,308 56,568 32.36%
2006 10,465 9,939 0 1 53 20,459 56,784 36.03%
2007 10,215 8,563 0 1 58 18,836 59,612 31.60%
2008 10,723 9,834 0 1 61 20,620 60,821 33.90%
2009 10,324 9,834 14 1 64 20,237 61,934 32.68%
2010 9,929 9,788 27 1 62 19,807 67,743 29.24%
2011 9,942 7,803 115 1 88 17,950 69,176 25.95%
2012 10,250 10,252 183 1 75 20,761 72,922 28.47%
2013 9,605 10,019 212 1 66 19,903 75,266 26.44%
2014 10,308 9,137 196 17 152 19,809 77,261 25.64%
2015 11,044 8,665 367 139 748 20,963 82,413 25.44%
2016 11,070 8,111 726 1,097 975 21,979 90,798 24.21%
2017 10,270 9,611 1,013 1,201 1,094 23,189 94,370 24.57%
2018 10,435 9,384 1,105 1,249 1,153 23,326 99,765 23.38%

Hydroelectric plants[edit]

Angat Dam, a major hydropower facility in the Philippines

Hydropower is one of the main sources of renewable energy in the Philippines. There are hydroelectric plants of both the conventional dam and run-of-the-river types in the country. Of twenty-nine hydroelectric plants, fourteen are conventional dam and fifteen are run-of-the-river systems.[20][21][22] Hydropower accounts for 11.8% of the energy generation and 17-18% of installed capacity in the Philippines.[23][24][25]

Many areas of the Philippines are suitable for hydroelectricity production.[26] However, hydroelectricity production in the Philippines can cause upstream and downstream flooding during monsoonal weather and when excess water is released from dams.[26][27] Hydropower integration also has the potential to disturb pre-existing natural ecosystems and cultures as well as cause land dispossession and community resettlement.[24][28] The methods of using geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing (RS) to determine suitable sites for constructing hydroelectric plants do not tend to incorporate social or environmental considerations.[29] In response to the construction of large scale hydroelectric infrastructure, opposition movements have arisen. Anti-dam organizations and protests may advocate for indigenous peoples, environmental conservation, anti-capitalism, or anti-imperialism.[25] Vocal environmental human rights defenders have been red-tagged by the government or extrajudicially killed by the military or police.[25][28][30] The rights, concerns, and political agency of indigenous peoples trying to protect their villages and sacred sites from being submerged have often been disregarded due to urban-centric economic development.[25][28]

Incorporating small scale plants, especially micro-hydroelectric plants that have a capacity of less than 0.1 MW (100 kW), may mitigate adverse side effects and be a cost-effective way to bring electricity to rural and off-the-grid communities.[24] Isolated mountain communities have seen improvements in education, community engagement, and economy due to improved lighting provided by micro-hydropower.[31]

Hydropower output of the Philippines[1][19]
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Hydropower Output (GWh) 8,593 8,387 9,939 8,563 9,834 9,788 7,803 9,698 10,252 10,019 9,137 8,665
Percentage Change (2.40%) 18.50% (13.84%) 14.84% (0.47%) (20.28%) 24.29% 5.71% (2,27%) (8.80%) (5.45%)
Major hydropower sites
Facility Name[32][33][34] Type Installed Capacity (MW) Location Owner Year Commissioned
San Roque Dam 411.0 Pangasinan San Roque Power Corporation 2003
HEDCOR Run-of-River 33.8 Benguet HEDCOR 1993
Kalayaan PSPP Dam 739.2 Laguna CBK Power Company Ltd. 1998/2004
Magat Run-of-River 360.0 Isabela Aboitiz Power 1983
Caliraya Dam 35.0 Laguna CBK Power Company Ltd. 1942/1947/1950
Botocan Run-of-River 22.8 Laguna CBK Power Company Ltd. 1967/1986
Angat Dam 246.0 Bulacan PSALM 1967/1986
Pantabangan-Masiway Dam 132.0 Nueva Ecija First Gen Hydro Power Corp. 1977/1981
Ambuklao Dam 105.0 Benguet Aboitiz Power 1957
Binga Dam 132.0 Benguet Aboitiz Power 1960
Bakun Run-of-River 70.0 Ilocos Sur Luzon Hydro Corp. 2000/2001
Casecnan Dam 165.0 Nueva Ecija CE Casecnan Water & Energy Co. 2002
Sabangan Run-of-River 13.2 Mt. Province HEDCOR 2015
NIA-Baligtan Run-of-River 6.0 Isabela NIA 1987
JANOPOL Run-of-River 5.2 Bohol BOHECO I 1992
AGUS 1 Dam 80.0 Lanao del Sur PSALM 1992
AGUS 2 Dam 180.0 Lanao del Sur PSALM 1992
AGUS 4 Dam 55.0 Lanao del Norte PSALM 1985
AGUS 5 Dam 200.0 Lanao del Norte PSALM 1985
AGUS 6 Dam 54.0 Lanao del Norte PSALM 1953/1971
AGUS 7 Dam 255.0 Lanao del Norte PSALM 1983
Pulangi IV Run-of-River 232.0 Bukidnon PSALM 1985/1986
Sibulan HEP Run-of-River 42.6 Davao del Sur HEDCOR 2010
Agusan Run-of-River 1.6 Bukidnon FG Bukidnon Power Corp. 1957
Bubunawan Run-of-River 7.0 Bukidnon BPC Inc. 2001
Cabulig HEP Run-of-River 9.2 Misamis Oriental Mindanao Energy Systems 2012
Talomo HEP Run-of-River 4.5 Davao del Sur HEDCOR 1998
Tudaya 1 Run-of-River 6.6 Davao del Sur HEDCOR 2014
Tudaya 2 Run-of-River 7.0 Davao del Sur HEDCOR 2014

Geothermal power[edit]

In the Philippines, geothermal energy is used to generate electricity. Two types of technologies are used in the Philippines. These are firstly, the higher temperature flash steam method and secondly, the lower temperature binary cycle method.[35] In the Philippines, the first is the more common. The second is used only at the MAKBAN plant. Geothermal plants are suitable for areas with low winds, such as Mindanao, and areas that have rainy weather, such as Batanes. Geothermal energy production can result in the release of toxic substances such as mercury, hydrogen sulfide, arsenic and selenium.[36] In 2014, at a geothermal plant in Biliran, eight plant workers were hospitalized with hydrogen sulphide poisoning.[37]

Geothermal energy output[1][19]
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Geothermal Power Output (GWh) 10,282 9,902 10,465 10,215 10,723 10,324 9,929 9,942 10,250 9,605 10,308 11,044
Percentage Change (3.70%) 5.69% 2.39% 4.97% (3.72%) (3.83%) (0.13%) 3.10% (6.29%) 7.32% 7.14%
Major geothermal sites
Facility Name[32][33][34] Type Installed Capacity (MW) Location Owner Year Commissioned
MAKBAN Flash/Binary 442.8 Laguna AP Renewable Inc. 1979
BACMAN Flash 130.0 Sorsogon Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. 1993
Tiwi Flash 234.0 Albay AP Renewable Inc. 1979
MANITO-Lowland Flash 1.5 Albay Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. No date
MAIBARARA Flash 20.0 Batangas Maibarara Geothermal Inc. 2014
Palinpinon GPP Flash 192.5 Negros Oriental Green Core Energy 1983
Leyte Flash 112.5 Leyte Green Core Energy 1983
Unified Leyte Flash 610.2 Leyte Energy Development Corp. 1996/1997
Nasulo GPP Flash 50.0 Negros Occidental Energy Development Corp. 2014
Mt. Apo Flash 103.0 North Cotabato Energy Development Corp. 1996

Solar power[edit]

Photovoltaic solar cell

In 2015, three solar farms were constructed in the Philippines. The Philippines receives over 7kWh per square meter per day during its peak month of April and lowest at 3kWH per square meter per day during its off-peak month of December as observed by Schadow1 Expeditions in 33 cities of the country.[38] Given the country's high solar potential, the solar energy's contribution to the energy mix is expected to increase from the current (2019) 1.2% of 23GW to at least 3.5% of the 43GW total capacity by 2040.[39]

Major solar power sites
Facility Name[32][33][34] Type Installed Capacity (MW) Location Owner Year Commissioned
Tarlac-2 Photovoltaic 20 Tarlac, Tarlac PetroSolar Corp. 2019
Tarlac-1 Photovoltaic 50 Tarlac, Tarlac PetroSolar Corp. 2016
Majestic Photovoltaic 41.3 Cavite Majestic Power Corp. 2015
Pampanga Solar Photovoltaic 10.0 Pampanga Raslag Corp. 2015
Burgos Solar Photovoltaic 4.0 Ilocos Norte Solar Philippines 2015
CEPALCO Solar PV Photovoltaic 1.0 Cagayan de Oro CEPALCO 2004
Solar, wind, and biomass energy output[1][19]
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Solar, wind, and biomass output (GWh) 19 55 59 63 79 90 205 259 279 364 1,254
Percentage change 189.47% 7.27% 6.78% 25.40% 13.92% 127.78% 26.34% 7.72% 30.66% 244.50%

Wind power[edit]

Pililla wind farm

All wind power sites in the Philippines are on-shore facilities. Some, such as Ilocos Norte, Pililla Wind Farm in Rizal and Bangui Wind Farm are tourist destinations.[40][41]

Major wind power sites
Facility Name[32][33][34] Type Installed Capacity (MW) Location Owner Year Commissioned
Bangui Wind Farm Power Phase 1 and 2 On-Shore 33.0 Ilocos Norte North Wind Power Development Corp. 2005
Bangui Wind Farm Power Phase 3 On-Shore 18.9 Ilocos Norte North Wind Power Development Corp. 2014
Burgos Wind Farm On-Shore 150.0 Ilocos Norte EDC 2014
Carispisan Wind On-Shore 81.0 Ilocos Norte North UPC 2014
Pililla Wind Farm On-Shore 54.0 Rizal Alternegy Philippine Holdings Corp. 2015
TAREC On-Shore 54.0 Guimaras TAREC 2014
NABAS Wind Phase 1 On-Shore 36.0 Aklan PWEI 2015

Biomass power[edit]

Bagasse, a kind of biomass fuel
Rice husks

Biomass energy refers to energy derived from plant and animal sources.[42] Biomass resources are abundant in the Philippines due to its large agricultural industry. Bagasse, rice husks, and coconut husks are used to generate power.[43] The Philippines also uses Biogas from landfill as a biomass energy source. The availability of biomass can be affected by events such as drought.[44]|

Major biomass power sites
Facility Name[32][33][34] Type Installed Capacity (MW) Location Owner Year Commissioned
Green Future Bagasse 19.8 Isabela Green Future Innovation Inc. 2014
5JC Power Rice Husk 12.0 Nueva Ecija I Power Corp. 2015
Montalban LFG Landfill Gas 9.3 Rizal Montalban Methane Power Corp. 2009
Laguna LFG Landfill Gas 4.2 Laguna Bacavalley Energy Inc. 2011
Lucky PPH Bagasse 4.0 Isabela Lucky PPH International Inc. 2008
Pangea Landfill Gas 1.2 Metro Manila Pangea Green Energy Phil Inc. 2013


The Philippine government has passed four laws that seek to improve the state of renewable energy. These are the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (RA 9136); the Biofuel Act of 2006 (RA 9367); the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513); and the Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729).

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (2001) (EPIRA) promotes the use of renewable energy particularly through private sector investment.[7] However, after a decade of EPIRA's enactment, advocacy groups and lawmakers said the law only strengthened monopolies and caused electricity rates to double.[45][46][47][48]

The Biofuels Act (2006) documents state policy to reduce the Philippines' dependence on imported fossil fuels. It encourages investment in biofuels through incentives including reduced tax on local or imported biofuels; and bank loans for Filipino citizens engaged in biofuel production. The law resulted in the formation of the National Biofuel Board (NBB).[8]

The Renewable Energy Act (2008) legislates state policy to accelerate the development and use of renewable energy resources.[10] Under this act (section 6), mandated a minimum percentage of generation of electricity from renewable sources (a renewable portfolio standard (RPS)). Also under this act (section 7), a feed-In tariff system was implemented for electricity produced from renewable sources, giving producers the security of long term fixed prices.[49] Electricity utilities make net metering agreements with qualified end-users of renewable energy systems. A minimum percentage of electricity from renewable sources for the off-grid missionary electrification system was also mandated.

Under the Renewable Energy Act (2008), incentives are available to developers of renewable energy. These incentives include an income tax holiday for the first seven years of the entity's commercial operations; duty-free importation and special realty tax rates on renewable energy machinery, equipment and materials within the first ten years; net operating loss carry-over; zero percent Value-Added Tax (VAT) rate for the sale of fuel or power generated from renewable sources of energy; and Tax Credit on domestic capital equipment and services.

The Climate Change Act (2009) legislated state policy to incorporate a gender-sensitive, pro-children and pro-poor perspective in all climate change and renewable energy efforts.[11]

Feed-in tariff program statistics[edit]

FIT Monitoring Board summary[50]
Resource For Nomination / Conversion With Certificate of Confirmation of Commerciality With Certificate of Endorsement to ERC
No. of Projects Capacity (MW) No. of Projects Capacity (MW) No. of Projects Capacity (MW)
Hydro 66 610.93 4 26.60
Wind 7 1,023.55 5 431.00 6 393.90
Solar 18 681.30 30 892.54 6 131.90
Biomass 4 24.37 11 94.25
TOTAL 25 1704.85 105 1,958.84 27 646.65
FiT degression[49]
RE Technology Proposed FiT ($/kWh)* Approved FiT ($/kwh)* Degression Rate
Solar 0.407 0.220 6% after 1 year from effectivity of FiT
Wind 0.235 0.193 0.5% after 2 years from effectivity of FiT
Biomass 0.159 0.150 0.5% after 2 years from effectivity of FiT
Run-of-River Hydro 0.139 0.134 0.5% after 2 years from effectivity of FiT
*Based on US$1.00 : PHP 44.00

Private sector involvement[edit]

The Renewable Energy Act (2008) encourages the involvement of the private sector in renewable energy production through fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.[51]

Fiscal incentives include tax reductions, as well as funding assistance from both government and third parties. A number of international organizations have expressed willingness to aid Philippine businesses in developing local renewable energy infrastructure including German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).[52] Impediments to private sector investment include high transaction costs; social engineering costs; lack of suitable local technology; and caps on electricity prices made by the Energy Regulatory Commission.[53][51]

An itemized partial list of required permits, licenses and certificates for RE project application:[53]
Required Documents issued by the National Government Required Documents issued by the Local Government Units
  1. SEC Registration
  2. DOE Certificate/Endorsement
  3. DOE Accreditation
  4. BOI Registration
  5. CSR Approval — Anti-poverty Commission
  6. DENR EPC Certificate
  7. DENR Environmental Certificate (ECC)
  8. DENR Permit to Operate
  9. Development Permit (endorsed to LGU)
  10. Transfer Certificate of Title (LRB, HLURB)
  11. BIR Certified Tax Declaration
  12. ERC Certificate of Compliance
  13. NTC Permit to Purchase
  14. NTC License to operate
  15. ERC Compliance to Grid Code
  16. ERC Compliance to Distribution Code
  17. WESM Registration
  18. Right of Way permit
  19. Power Purchase Agreements
  20. Certificate of Registration as Importer
  1. LGU Endorsements (Governor, Mayor, Councils)
  2. Realty Tax
  3. Barangay Clearance to operate
  4. Business and Operations Tax
  5. Building permit
  6. Real Estate Tax Receipt
  7. Sanitary Permit
  8. Barangay Clearance for Construction
  9. Right of Way permits
  10. Water Rights
Renewable energy Technology[51] Issued FIT rate (per kWh) Proposed rate (per kWh)
Solar Php 9.68 Php 17.95
Wind Php 8.53 Php 10.37
Biomass Php 6.63 Php 7.00
Hydropower Php 5.90 Php 6.15

Public-private partnership[edit]

Up until June 2015, the Department of Energy (DOE) had awarded 646 service contracts as Public-private partnerships to private sector entities under the Renewable Energy Law with installed capacity of 2,760.52 MW.[54]

Resources Awarded Projects Installed Capacity Potential Capacity
Geothermal 42 1,896.19 750.00
Hydro 407 136.73 7,884.54
Wind 51 426.90 1,168.00
Solar 93 108.90 2,206.51
Biomass 45 191.80 357.00
Ocean energy 8 31.00
TOTAL 646 2,760.52 12,397.05

Instances of private sector projects include:

Island Group Resource Project Name Project Proponent
Luzon[55] Hydropower Kapangan Cordillera Hydro Electric Power Corporation
Bulanao DPJ Engineers and Consultants
Prismc PNOC-Renewables Corporation
Magat A Isabela Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Magat B Isabela Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Tubao Tubao Mini-Hydro Electric Corporation
Catuiran* Sta. Clara Power Corp.
Inabasan* Ormin Power, Inc.
Solar San Rafael Solar Power Plant SPARC Solar Powered AgriRural Communities Corporation
Morong Solar Power Plant SPARC Solar Powered AgriRural Communities Corporation
Cabanatuan Solar Power Project First Cabanatuan Renewable Ventures, Inc.
Palauig Solar Power Plant SPARC Solar Powered AgriRural Communities Corporation
Currimao Solar Photovoltaic Power Project Mirae Asia energy Corporation
Macabud Solar Photovoltaic Power Project ATN Philippines Solar energy Group, Inc.
Sta. Rita Solar Power Project Jobin-Sqm Inc.
YH Green YH Green
Tarlac Solar Power Project PetroSolar Corporation
Calatagan Solar Power Project Phase I Solar Philippines Calatagan Corporation
Geothermal Bacman 3 (Tanawon) Geothermal Project energy Development Corporation
Maibarara 2 Geothermal Project Maibarara Geothermal Inc.
Biomass 2 MW ACNPC WTE Biomass Power Plant Project Asian Carbon Neutral Power Corporation
12 MW Biomass Power Plant Project Green Innovations for Tomorrow Corporation
5 MW Bicol Biomass energy Corporation Bicol Biomass energy Corporation
8.8 MW Biogas Power Plant Project AseaGas Corporation
24 MW SJCiPower Rice Husk-Fired Biomass power Plant Project (Phase 1 – 12MW Phase 2 – 12 MW) San Jose City I Power Corporation
70 kW Biomass Gasification Power Plant Project* PowerSource Philippines, Inc.
Visayas[56] Geothermal Biliran Geothermal Plant Project Biliran Geothermal Incorporated
Hydropower Villasiga HEP Sunwest Water & Electric Co., Inc.
Igbulo (Bais) Hydroelectric Power Project Century Peak energy Corporation
Cantakoy Quadriver energy Corp.
Amlan HEPP Natural Power Sources Integration, Inc.
Solar Miag-ao Solar Power Project COSMO Solar energy, Inc.
La Carlota Solar Power Project Phase A (SACASOL II-A) San Carlos Solar energy Inc.
Cadiz Solar Power Project Phil.Power Exploration & Development Corporation
Wind Nabas Wind Power Project Phase I – 34 Phase II-16 PetroWind energy Corporation
Biomass 12 MW Multi-Feedstock Biomass Power Plant Project Megawatt Clean energy, Inc.
2.5 MW Rice Husk-Fired Biomass Power Plant Project Megawatt Clean energy, Inc.
Mindanao[57] Hydropower Lake Mainit Agusan Power Corporation
Puyo Hydroelectric Power Project First Gen Mindanao Hydropower Corp.
Asiga Asiga Green energy Corp.
Manolo Fortich I Hedcor Bukidnon, Inc.
Manolo Fortich 2 Hedcor Bukidnon, Inc.
Solar Kibawe Solar Power Project Asiga Green energy Corp.
Digos Solar Power Project Phase I Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources, Inc.
Digos Solar Power Project Phase II Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources, Inc.
Biomass 3 MW Biomass Cogeneration Facility Philippine Trade Center, Inc.
15 MW LPC Biomass Power Plant Project Lamsan Power Corporation
3.5 MW Biomass Cogeneration System Green Earth Enersource Corporation
10MW Malay-balay Bioenergy Corporation Multi Feedstock Generating Facility Malaybalay Bio-energy Corporation
23.5 MW EPC Woody Biomass Power Plant Project Eastern Petroleum Corporation
12 MW Napier Grass-Fired Biomass Power Plant Project Manolo Fortich Biomass energy Corporation

*—off grid project

See also[edit]


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