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Philippines to hit net zero emissions by 2050

The Philippines would hit net zero emissions by 2050 through renewable-based power systems, backed by grid balancing engines and energy storage, according to Finnish energy technology company Wärtsilä.

In a statement on Wednesday, citing its modelling of the power system of the Philippines’ largest island, Luzon, Wärtsilä said that “a combination of renewables plus flexibility, provided by balancing engines and energy storage, can reliably meet the region’s increasing power demand.”

The Finnish firm said it modeled two scenarios, namely the “Business As Usual” (BAU) scenario – without an emissions limit – and a “Net Zero” scenario, where emissions were halved by 2040, before reaching net zero by 2050.

“Critically, when factoring in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA)’s upper forecasted carbon prices, the study shows that the LCOE (levelized cost of electricity) in the “Net Zero” scenario is 23% lower than in the “Business As Usual” (BAU) scenario. This would equate to an annual saving of $6.5 billion,” it said.

Wärtsilä said that Luzon represents around 72% of the Philippines’ total energy generation and around 72% of the Philippines’ peak demand, compared to 14% in Visayas and 13% in Mindanao.

The modeled pathway for Luzon, it said, in its Rethinking Energy in Southeast Asia report, “can serve as a blueprint for major islands in the regions of Visayas and Mindanao as well.”

The Philippines has not yet explicitly communicated a net zero target, but its National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) sets out plans to power the grid with a 35% share of renewables by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

“The modelled scenarios reveal that flexibility, in the form of energy storage and balancing engines, is the crucial technological fix to enable renewable energy to become the dominant source of power,” Wärtsilä said.

“To put Luzon on course for its target of 35% renewables by 2030 and 50% by 2040, the island’s power system needs to rapidly accelerate the adoption of flexible balancing power plants, with 1.3 GW needed by 2030. By 2050, 14 GW of balancing power plants and 69 GW of energy storage would be required in Luzon’s power sector to achieve net zero emissions,” it said.

Wärtsilä’s study results, published in the Rethinking Energy in Southeast Asia report, simulate the paths to net zero emissions in three major Southeast Asian power systems, namely Vietnam; the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia; and the island of Luzon in the Philippines.

Source: GMA network

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