Among the renewable energy industries in the Philippines, geothermal energy is the one able to keep on expanding. What’s more, it ranks second among other providers of geothermal power in the world.
Along with the sector’s development is the continuing support of New Zealand’s Institute of Geothermal and Nuclear Sciences (GNS Science), which evaluates current systems and progresses and recommends steps for improvement.
In fact, the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a Philippine geothermal company and one of the largest in the world, was able to save $2.48 million in operating costs with the GNS Science’s previous evaluation and recommendation.
As EDC is currently undergoing an expansion, GNS Science will once again help in developing Philippine’s geothermal energy industry as recently signed in an agreement during the two-day state visit in New Zealand of Philippine President Benigno Aquino, Jr.
According to GNS Science, they will be conducting viability reviews of EDC’s steam fields for half a year, and the new contract is likely to be a forerunner to further work in the Philippines. They will be working with Filipino specialists to improve geothermal operations at certain fields, according to Richard Tantoco, EDC’s chief operating officer.
“This will greatly help us in the reservoir management for our existing operating fields and identify and eliminate costs, complexity and risks. Over the next four years we plan to drill 75 new geothermal wells. If production improves by at least 1 MW per well, compared to the average of the last three years, the value it will deliver will be an added $75 million a year in revenues,” said Tantoco.
While things are going great for geothermal energy in the country, the solar energy industry experiences otherwise. For whatever reasons there may be that hinder solar energy from burgeoning, perhaps political, hopefully, these would be surpassed should the government would also realize its great potential in reducing electrical costs and finally support solar energy projects as they would have for geothermal energy.
Ultimately, these renewable energy sources must also be accessible to the poor, and solar cell panels have the potential to achieve this goal.