Ring of Fire project to speed Asia’s geothermal development
The Ring of Fire initiative aims to replicate the Philippines' success in sustainable geothermal production for Indonesia's largely untapped geothermal energy resources. The Philippines gets 17 percent of its electricity supply from geothermal power plants and is the second largest geothermal energy producer in the world, next to the US, while Indonesia holds approximately 40 percent of the world's conventional geothermal reserves.
The 'Ring of Fire' is in line with and in support of WWF's 100 percent by 2050 Renewable Energy Vision and has the ultimate goal of increasing installed geothermal capacity in the region by 150 percent in 2015 and 300 percent by 2020. On top of increasing geothermal production, the project will also address issues on environmental sustainability, energy security and climate change.
To achieve this, the two partners will establish a Gold Standard Geothermal Showcase project at EDC's 50-MW Mindanao 3 geothermal project in North Cotabato as a benchmark for geothermal projects.
EDC is the Philippines' largest geothermal energy producer and strongly embraces environmental stewardship. It's Mindanao 3 geothermal project encapsulates its 35 years of geothermal experience and expertise.
By demonstrating the economic, social and environmental benefits of geothermal energy through the Gold Standard Showcase EDC and WWF expect to build broad stakeholder support for accelerated geothermal development in the region.
"The activities of WWF within the Ring of Fire program will focus on helping reform the energy sector in the direction of a more sustainable market, supportive of geothermal sources," said WWF Philippines CEO, Jose Ma. Lorenzo P. Tan.
"We will work with EDC to create an enabling environment in Indonesia, taking off from our successful partnership to pass the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 in the Philippines. We will also work on the sustainability aspects, energy financing and economic issues, and on capacity building and awareness-raising."
WWF notes the high economic potential of geothermal to support the creation of a green and innovative energy sector. Geothermal plants provide 2.5 times more jobs than their coal counterparts. Furthermore there is potential - especially for the Philippines - to market knowledge and experience in the field. Large geothermal developments also lead to substantial green investments in both actual production and in surrounding communities, as well as enabling access to carbon markets.
EDC President and COO Richard B. Tantoco said, "EDC recognizes the importance of collaborative efforts to promote greater use of geothermal and other renewable energy resources for energy development. The Ring of Fire Initiative is consistent with our policy to support national efforts to achieve energy security and to contribute to the global effort to address climate change issues.
"Relative to this, we will actively participate in the Indonesian Geothermal Round Table Discussion to share our expertise and help address relevant policy, awareness, capacity and financing issues affecting the industry," said Tantoco.
WWF and EDC have previously collaborated to support for the passage of the Philippines Renewable Energy Act of 2008.