Cusi: Ph still needs coal and oil for energy needs


Amid the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland, the Department of Energy (DOE) said the Philippines still needs coal and oil meet the country’s power needs.

Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, in a BusinessWorld report, particularly cited coal and oil as “vital” for an “energy-hungry nation,” even as his agency issued a moratorium on the building of new coal-fired power plants last year.

Cusi made his remark on Thursday, when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) that the Philippines and Indonesia may be the first countries in Asia to remove coal from their respective energy mixes.

Nonetheless, Cusi noted that the DOE has considered the environmental issues surrounding the use of coal and oil for power generation.

The ADB previously announced that it will stop financing coal power plants, as it is “no longer adequately aligned with the global consensus on climate change.” From 2009-2019, the ADB funded $42.5 billion into energy sector projects in Asia, around 60% of which are coal-related.

Coal comprises at least 41.6% of the country’s energy mix as of end-2020, based on DOE data.

Cusi also said the agency sees natural gas as the fuel of the future, hoping that the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals it approved for development would make the Philippines Southeast Asia’s next LNG hub. The DOE approved the building of LNG terminals as resources from the Malampaya gas field continue to dwindle.