By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) has been intensifying efforts on enticing investors into injecting capital flow for biomass ventures in the country.
Renewed call on biomass investments had been channeled through a recent conference involving the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) bloc.
Biomass is among the renewable energy (RE) investments that the Philippines has been promoting, given the vast resources that the country can offer on this sphere.
Based on study and assessments of the energy department, it placed Philippine biomass development potential at 4,448 megawatts – which essentially could draw billion-dollars worth of investments once harnessed.
The DOE particularly noted the abundance of such resource development prospects in Palawan; as well as Mindanao in the southern core of the country.
Beyond capital flows, the government similarly indicated prospects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoidance that may reach as much as 17.25 million tons annually – by tapping on the potential of this resource alone.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi reiterated that the sustainability paradigm of the DOE – and primarily of the country – may partly be rooted on harnessing RE resources like biomass.
“It is fundamental to the country’s sustainable energy agenda to develop and utilize our indigenous renewable energy resources,” the energy chief said.
It is worth noting that while biomass had been among the sources propounded to be incentivized with feed-in-tariff incentives, investments had not accelerated as expected due to concerns relating to sustainability of feedstocks.
With that, biomass FIT has been extended for two years – or until 2019, on hopes that investments may still be spurred because of such subsidy provision.
The energy chief added that biomass investments “is vital to achieving energy self-reliance, strengthening climate change mitigation measures and ushering in socio-economic advancement in rural areas.