PH to meet energy demand with more investments from private sector

PH to meet energy demand with more investments from private sector

As the Philippines gears to develop more infrastructure under the Duterte administration, the Department of Energy (DOE) is expecting investments from the private sector to meet the rising demand for electricity and interconnect the country’s grids, an official said.

Speaking during the 4th Annual Philippines Power and Electricity Week, DOE OIC-undersecretary Mylene Capongcol said the DOE will is cooperating with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to formulate a national energy policy.

The outcome of the planning will determine the future of coal powered-plants in the country. However, Capongcol said the DOE is focused on utilizing “high efficient and innovative technologies to meet the expected demand in electricity.”

“In this process, we will make sure that the interest of the end-consumers and investors are balanced and that any actions and policies implemented shall redound to better protection of public interest and keeping and sustaining the robust pace of the country’s economic growth,” Capongcol said.

By 2030, Luzon will need an additional 5, 000 megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity, and Visayas and Mindanao will need 1, 300 MW and 900 MW, respectively.

Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said the DOE is currently undergoing transition and evaluation.

Capongcol said Cusi is prioritizing the establishment of an electricity market to connect the Mindanao grid to the Luzon-Visayas grids. This is to allow the three regions to share excess capacity.

The DOE is currently working on the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and the renewable energy (RE) market, which will serve as the trading floor to monitor compliance to the RPS.

“The implementation of RPS will translate to higher demand for RE necessitating more RE capacities to be put up. We will likewise study further if there is a need for another round of installation targets for FIT or can we now make RE market-based without prejudice to the need of the consumers of having affordable power rates,” she said.

They are also looking at the possible use of natural gas to meet the demand. Secretary Cusi earlier said that the DOE is considering converting the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and distribution center.