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Battery tech seen sufficiently mature to support PHL’s renewables push

SMCGLOBALPOWER.COM.PH

THE Philippines is ready to tap battery energy storage systems (BESS) to make intermittent power sources like wind and solar suitable for servicing baseload needs, an energy-transition consultant said.

“We can maximize the output of renewable energy and put it in battery storage to support the transition to renewables,” Matthew Carpio, Climate Smart Ventures’ head of transaction advisory for the energy transition and structured finance, told reporters on Thursday.  

The Department of Energy’s Philippine Energy Plan hopes to increase the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

Climate Smart Ventures added that current laws and regulation will accommodate the development of energy storage systems.

Hanzel M. Cubangbang, senior market applications officer for Southeast Asia of Fluence Energy, said RE with the inclusion of BESS is feasible for on-grid and off-grid applications as it will also allow for the faster transition from fossil fuels.

Climate Smart Ventures has found in a study that for on-grid applications, solar photovoltaic combined with BESS are competitive for baseload below 11 megawatts (MW).

Battery-stored power is being put forward as a solution to the variability and intermittency problem, such as solar power plants which cannot generate power at night or wind farms that have no output on calm days. 

“So instead of putting up a new set of infrastructure to connect to the grid, just use existing structures and connect a battery,” Mr. Carpio said.

Mr. Carpio also said grid congestion has become a problem for renewables, which he said can be solved by storing power in batteries.

“In Vietnam they have a problem with so much solar; there’s so much excess electricity getting wasted,” he said.

Last week, SMC Global Power Corp., the energy arm of San Miguel Corp. said it will build BESS facilities to allow more renewable capacity to be used on the grid.  

SMC Global Power said it is developing a total of 31 BESS facilities with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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