The Renewable Energy Management Bureau under Department of Energy has identified Camiguin as one of the potential areas for locally funded Low Enthalpy Project.
This project is an initiative of national government that aims to further explore and evaluate low enthalpy geothermal areas that might be suitable for power generation using binary technology and other direct-use applications.
During their conduct of Information Education and Communication campaign for the comprehensive resource assessment in partnership with Philippine Information Agency – Region 10, Geothermal Energy Management Division Chief Ariel D. Fronda said that geothermal energy could be source of several uses, such as power plants. He then added that a typical geothermal power plant producing thousands megawatt of electricity displaces million barrels of fuel oil, equivalent to saving hard-earned dollars.
Hosting communities could also benefit from both new and existing geothermal projects through a government share. The government share is equal to one percent of the gross income of renewable energy resource developers, wherein 40% of it will be given to local government.
Another is the benefits pursuant to ER 1-94 where in here, a host community could acquire one centavo for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. This would then be given through the form of electrification fund (EF), development and livelihood fund (DLF) and reforestation, watershed management, health and environment enhancement fund (RWMHEEF).
Chief Fronda also told the participants of the advocacy campaign composing of local government units of Mambajao and Catarman, barangay officials and representatives from Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Camiguin, that they will still be studying the island for any geothermal resource. In conducting so, different project activities will be done.
DOE-REMB will be checking the rock types, structures, volcanic history and geohydrology of Camiguin through imageries interpretation and geological investigations. In addition, there would be also estimation of temperature and chemistry of the underground reservoir fluids from the water and gas samples, and identification of the flow of fluids located at the subsurface and estimation of reservoir’s shape and size.
Prior to conducting studies in Camiguin, DOE-REMB already reviewed available data regarding Camiguin’s geothermal capacities and remote sensing and aerial photo interpretation. Geological, geochemical and geophysical surveys will then be done to confirm if there are geothermal resources in their area.
DOE envisions to formulate policy and guidelines for the development of low to medium enthalpy geothermal energy resources for small-scale power generation, agro-industrial and direct application. Moreover, they also plan to offer potential geothermal areas to investors in an aim of energy exploration, development and utilization. (Irene Joy B. Dayo, PIA-10)