THE Department of Energy (DoE) is enjoining industry stakeholders to work closely to achieve energy security and for the Philippines to become energy independent.
“The government can only do so much. I cannot overemphasize the support of the private sector and our energy advocates in realizing our dream of an energy secure and energy independent Philippines. Let us make it happen in our lifetime,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a webinar.
The Energy department, he said, is promoting the utilization of renewable energy (RE) resources — but without sacrificing the achievement of the country’s energy security.
“There is a need to strike a balance between meeting our current energy needs and building a better and cleaner world for the coming generations. Reality makes us realize that we cannot sacrifice one in favor of the other,” he said.
Promoting renewables is one of the agency’s approach to attaining energy security, with Cusi saying the current energy situation “leaves much to be desired” and that the country has an “urgent need” of additional capacity.
“This is why the DoE is looking at developing all possible energy sources, including nuclear, to help the Philippines become energy secure,” the Energy chief said.
Cusi has reaffirmed his commitment to the full implementation of Republic Act 9513, or the “Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008,” which aims to accelerate the use of renewable sources for power generation.
“As part of this commitment, I have ordered a periodic review of our RE law to see where we are at the moment and find stronger ways to promote our indigenous resources,” he said.
“We cannot be at the mercy of global market volatilities, geopolitical movements or pandemics. This is why we must ensure that our energy agenda directly responds to the unique needs of our country’s energy landscape. We cannot fit a square peg in a round hole,” he added.
Since 2016, the DoE has awarded a total of 472 RE service contracts, with a potential capacity of 20 gigawatts (GW). This may translate to an additional 8 percent of RE’s share to the country’s total primary energy supply.
This is also higher than indicative and committed coal plants for the same period, which only has a potential capacity of 14.5 GW.
Although the country has abundant sources of renewables, Cusi said it is best to focus on resources that are readily available, as well as extend all the necessary support to encourage their development.
“We need to maximize geothermal and hydro energy utilization, as they have proven their reliability as flexible power sources that are crucial to our commercial and industrial needs,” he added.