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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Geothermal Power in the Philippines

The Philippines is the second largest geothermal power generating country in the world after the USA, with installed capacity of 1,930 MW at the end of 2005, of which 1,838 MW was operational.

The Philippines now leads the world in terms of wet steam field capacity and ranks just behind the US in terms of geothermal power generation.

The Philippines is located in the Pacific Rim of Fire, a volcanic region which extends in a crescent from Sumatra in Indonesia at the western end, across the 3,000 mile archipelago of Indonesia, through the Philippines archipelago to Japan in the east. It has a considerable number of high quality geothermal resources. These are all island arc volcanic systems as typically found in the Circum-Pacific region, and show close similarities with geothermal systems in Indonesia and Japan. The widely distributed nature of the geothermal resources in the Philippines has long been an impediment to geothermal power development.

With over 20 years of experience in geothermal development and power generation, the geothermal industry in the Philippines is now in a mature state and currently the Philippines Department of Energy is supervising the operations of nine geothermal service contract areas. In the early 1990s, there was a rapid upswing in geothermal power development and 1,000 MW of geothermal capacity was added between 1993 and 1997. This was largely due to BOT
legislation in the
Philippines, which allowed international power utilities to enter the market and to fund and construct geothermal power plants. This enabled an increase in the much needed generating capacity without increasing national debt.

The Philippine government plans to add 526 MW of new capacity between 2002 and 2008.

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The Philippines has several possibilities to get clean and cheap energy. The tropical climate and the geological circumstances are responsible for three different energy resources:1-solar energy, cheap and inexhaustible2- natural gas (enormous mass found on Palawan)3- relative cheap "geothermal" energy
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