THE Philippines ended 2017 with a total installed capacity of 22,728 megawatts (MW), of which coal has remained the dominant energy source with a share of 35.4%, latest data from the Department of Energy (DoE) show.

Coal-fired power plants had a total installed capacity of 8,049 MW. Renewable energy (RE) sources followed closely at 7,079 MW or 31.1% of the total, although taken individually only hydroelectric power plants posted a double-digit share of the total at 16% or 3,627 MW.

Oil-based energy sources made up 18.3% of dependable capacity at 4,153 MW. Natural gas had a share of 15.2% or 3,447 MW as of end-2017.

The latest DoE data show coal power plants’ share to have expanded from 34.6% in 2016. The share of oil-based plants also increased from 16.9%, the DoE report for 2016 shows. The country imports most of its oil and coal requirements.

In contrast, the share of RE contracted from 32.5%, while that of natural gas also shrank from 16%.

Sought for comment on the country’s capacity mix and electrification rate, National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto M. Pernia said he was confident of achieving the government’s targets for the energy sector as called for under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

In a speech on Friday, he pointed to Chapter 19 of the PDP, which he said underscores attaining energy security and self-sufficiency, meeting energy demand, and improving access to electricity.

Under the plan, he said energy security would be pursued by increasing energy-generating capacity, encouraging efficient use of energy and implementing various transmission projects.

He also said energy self-sufficiency is projected to reach 60% of the energy mix by 2030. He said energy self-sufficiency was recorded at 55.3% in 2016, of which 37% was attributed to renewable energy. — Victor V. Saulon