Theses Master's

Responsibly Powering the Philippine Islands with Geothermal Energy

Esquivel, Camille Jayne

The research conducted in this thesis interrogates the impact of geothermal energy infrastructure in the Philippines, and highlights the risks associated with any future development. Through a deep dive historic literature and multimedia review, the study lays the foundation of the worsening energy crisis in the Philippines, and outline where aid has been received to fund resiliency and environmental conservation projects in this disaster-prone country.

Through the case study of one of the largest geothermal energy plants in the world, the Tiwi Geothermal Complex in Albay, Bicol, policies, laws, and social movements are reviewed to better understand how the presence of the state and NGOs has shaped life and development in the region. By understanding the drivers of development and decision-making in the region, the potential of geothermal energy infrastructure to be a catalyst for resilient development that adequately improves the conditions and quality of life for local people, centering the struggles of indigenous peoples and subsistence farmers in defending their lands. The current scale of implementation and management of geothermal energy is challenged to re-prioritize the needs of people at the smallest administrative division, the ‘barangay.’

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Bou Akar, Hiba
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 12, 2021