With 15 million Filipinos still having no access to electricity under the so- called daang matuwid (straight path) of the Aquino administration, Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) presidential candidate and Sen. Grace Poe has vowed to address the problem by developing more renewable energy sources particularly in remote areas.
Poe, who recently took her campaign to the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), said if she is given a chance to lead the country she would push for more solar and wind power in remote areas in the country to provide residents a sustainable source of energy without sacrificing the environment.
“What we need is more renewable energy sources, we need wind, solar, and hydro-electric energy producers to come in and invest in our country for us to have a cleaner and cheaper energy source,” she added.
In order to increase renewable energy share in the market, Poe said the government needs to encourage more private investments in the energy sector, especially as the country’s energy requirement increases with its population.
The Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in Asia.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electricity accounted for 4.5 percent of a Filipino household’s expenditures in 2012.
The Manila Electric Co. or Meralco, the largest power distributor in the country, charged P7.4176 per kilowatt-hour as of December 2015.
Department of Energy estimates show that the Philippines will need an additional 11,400 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity to meet energy demand from 2016 to 2030.
The additional requirement is to be distributed as follows: 8,100 MW in Luzon, 1,700 MW in Visayas and 1,600 MW in Mindanao.
Renewable energy development is included the 20-point government agenda of Poe.
The senator called on the government to implement mechanisms of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 particularly the establishment of the Renewable Energy Market, which will mandate power distributors to source a portion of their energy from renewable energy suppliers.
Poe said lack of a market for renewables is hindering development of cleaner power.