Although not widely known, the Philippines is home to five large geothermal plants operated by the Energy Development Corporation.
Superpressurized geothermal water comes up from boreholes at very hot temperatures, from 480 to 660 degrees Fahrenheit, providing about one-ninth of the Philippines’ electricity consumption. The geothermal plants situated above the Tongonan geothermal field on western Leyte Island are the world’s second-largest producer of geothermal energy, after one in California, reports the New York Times.
But the recent Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands of people in the Philippines, also destroyed the cooling towers of four of the geothermal plants. The fifth power plant suffered less damage, and Energy Department Corporation hopes to bring it back online by Dec. 24, the national target for restoring electricity after the typhoon, reports the newspaper.
However, even with the one power plant back in service, it will take some time to replace all the broken electricity poles.