The Department of Energy (DOE) says its plan to raise the biodiesel mix to five percent (B5) is still pushing through, but is considering a three percent blend (B3) in the meantime.
Energy Usec. Felix William Fuentebella says not even the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette would delay the said plan, though Energy Usec. Donato Marcos had called for a meeting with the National Biofuels Board (NBB) to discuss increasing the mix from the current two percent (B2).
Republic Act (RA) 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006 requires the use of biofuels, as well as an increase in their share in the country’s energy mix to help lessen dependence on fuel imports.
The DOE was hoping to increase the biodiesel mix to B5 in 2020 under its Biofuels Roadmap of 2018-2040, but was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic due to doubts about the reliability of supply during the lockdown.
In a recent statement, The Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA) proposed that the hiking of the biodiesel be done in phases, initially from B2 to B3, and later to B5.
The blending of one percent coco-biodiesel (B1) or in local diesel products began upon the enactment of RA 9367. It was then increased to B2 in 2007.
TPBA said that given the country’s annual diesel consumption at nearly 14 billion liters per year, B2 has already cut CO2 emissions by 756 million kilos. Should the coco-biodiesel mandate be raised to B5, CO2 emissions could be further reduced by another 2.5 times, to 1,892 million kilos.