Hydro, biomass among the most viable power sources

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


HYDRO power and biomass are among the most viable sources of energy that can be tapped to significantly augment energy supply in Mindanao.

This was bared in the Climate Change and Clean Energy (CEnergy) Project, an initiative spearheaded by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Department of Energy (DOE) and funded by the US Agency for International Development (Usaid).

"Being the food basket and having a large agricultural land, we have a substantial amount of agriculture waste that can serve as stocks for biomass energy sources. On the other hand, we still have a number of areas in Mindanao that have viable locations for hydroelectric power," Romeo Montenegro, director of investment promotions and public affairs of the MinDA, said in a press conference on Renewable Energy Potentials in Mindanao yesterday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao.

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Based on Mindanao Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Project, there are 11 potential sites for hydropower plants in Caraga, Soccsksargen, and Davao Region.

In the Caraga region, Bega, Misli, and Maug and Gibong rivers are the potential sites for a run-of-river hydropower plant.

Bega River is estimated to generate 1.4 megawatts (MW), Misli River has a potential of 800 kilowatts (kW), and Maug River and Gibong River have a combined potential of 8.5 MW.

In Soccsksargen, Badtasan River and Tran River are the identified potential sites for mini-hydropower plants. Badtasan River has a potential power production of 8,000 kW while Tran River has a potential of 350 kW.

In Davao Region, Mangkangay and Dumago-ok Rivers in Davao Oriental, and Miral reservoir site and Kapatagan in Davao del Sur are potential sites for mini-hydropower plants.

Alop falls and Kidadan falls in Davao Del Sur are potential sites for micro-hydropower plants.

Mangkangay River has a potential power generation of 300 kW, Dumago-ok River has 3,000 kW, Miral reservoir site has 300 kW, Kapatagan has 800 kW, Alop falls has 17 kW, and Kidadan falls has 60 kW.

The identified provinces for biomass potential projects are Bukidnon, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, North Cotabato, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Davao City, and Sarangani.

Bern Tadeo, of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative (Fibeco), said there is currently 263.9 MW of planned and existing biomass projects as of October 2013.

He said, based on the study, Mindanao has a net potential of 795 MW on top of the planned and existing biomass projects.

"If we develop the biomass energy projects, it will suffice the power in Mindanao for 25 years. There are now developers who are developing biomass," he said.

In the media briefer, the CEnergy project is an assessment and inventory of renewable energy source, particularly hydro and biomass, in its bid to promote and facilitate investments in renewable energy in the island and to sustain Mindanao's ideal mix of 50 percent renewable energy and 50 percent fuel-based plants in the future.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 19, 2014.

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