PH still relies on imports despite target to grow indigenous energy source – DOE

Senate, House energy committee approves bill calamity fund bill for power coops

The Philippines still imports almost half of its energy sources despite its goal to secure energy independence, according to a Department of Energy (DOE) official.

DOE Director of Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Mario Marasigan said that there is an urgent need for the country to be self-sufficient when it comes to energy.

Around 23.4 percent come from local renewable energy sources; 21.4 percent from natural gas from Malamapya; and 6.3 percent from local coal.

“To help us achieve a higher level of self-sufficiency, as well as our other energy goals, the Doe has adopted a technology-neutral approach to welcome all possible avenues to get us where we want to be at the soonest possible time,” Marasigan said when he delivered Alfonso Cusi’s keynote speech in this year’s Powertrends. 

Further expansion of the renewable energy sector, reviving exploration activities in oil and gas industry, as well as efficient use of indigenous energy sources were the general strategies mentioned by Marasigan.

He added that there will be new policies to be issued on energy storage systems, ancillary services, and smart grid.

“These measures will push the industry towards adapting and venturing into new spheres which would improve consumer services and further enhance the ever-evolving power systems of the country,” Marasigan explained.

However, Chief Commercial Officer of Parami Energy Anton Safronov noted that energy independence will be difficult due to Malampaya’s decline.

“Malampaya is such a big contributor to electricity in Luzon and around 30 percent across the nation to supply. The production, some people are saying, are declining. Some people say there’s still life after it. But despite that fact, there are five power plants operating in Luzon, which is pretty much the capital of the whole country,” Safronov explained.

“LNG inevitably is gonna play a huge part in the energy equation. Now the question is, how do you negotiate better prices than what you’re getting from Malampaya?” he added.

Powertrends is the longest running energy show in the Philippines. It is the regular international exhibition and conference organized by Leverage International in cooperation with the Department of Energy since 1995.  This year’s theme, The Trends Shaping Renewable Energy, aims to promote technology advancements to help face challenges in achieving national energy self-reliance and sustainability.