Philippines, Indonesia Forge Geothermal Program

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"Project is in line with its 100% by 2050 Renewable Energy Vision."

A deal between a geothermal leader and wildlife conservation group has been forged to hasten development of the geothermal energy potential of Asia, starting with the Philippines and Indonesia.

Through the "Ring of Fire" project, Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines) will work on the acceleration of the geothermal development in Asia, as well as the replication of the Philippines' success in sustainable geothermal production for Indonesia's untapped geothermal energy resources.

WWF said the project is in line with its 100% by 2050 Renewable Energy Vision and to increase Asia's geothermal capacity by 150% by 2015 and 300% by 2020.

Aside from increasing geothermal production, the project will also address issues on environmental sustainability, energy security and climate change.

Under the agreement, EDC will establish a Gold Standard Geothermal Showcase project—the 50-megawatt Mindanao three project in North Cotabato—as a benchmark for the geothermal projects.

According to WWF, the Philippines gets 17% of its electricity supply from geothermal power plants and is the second largest geothermal energy producer in the world, next to the United States while Indonesia holds approximately 40% of the world's conventional geothermal reserves.

WWF cited the high economic potential of geothermal to support the creation of a green and innovative energy sector, noting that geothermal plants provide 2.5 times more jobs than their coal counterparts.

"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," EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Tantoco said.

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