ECCP, PEIC seek ‘collaborative approach’ for PH energy transition

Published December 9, 2020, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is pushing for accelerated deployment of energy efficient technologies as well as further diversification of resources in the Philippine energy mix by leaning mainly on renewable energy; and the business chamber is pushing this agenda along with the Philippine Energy Independence Council (PEIC) a multi-stakeholder advocacy group.

In a recent briefing with the media, ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein pushed for “the creation of a decisive transition strategy to RE along with thorough development of energy efficient technologies and systems to the reformulation of sustainable energy mix policy.”

He specified that European investors are “committed to position renewable energy and energy efficiency on top of (their) advocacy agenda.”

Part of the policy and project development frames being advanced by the ECCP would be “the integration of Visayas and Mindanao grids for the promotion of sustainable electrification.”

It is worth noting that the P52 billion Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) would have been completed December this year, but because of the construction hurdles instigated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the concretization of the country’s single power grid ambition will have to be snagged for a year.

Through the core of recommendations put forward by the foreign business chamber, Gottein highlighted “the importance of diversifying our national energy sources coupled with efforts to ensure stable, uninterrupted access to cost-efficient electricity.”

And in advancing these agendas, the ECCP has cemented an alliance with PEIC so they can come up with broader set of proposals that they can lodge with the government for cooperation and targeted actions.
The main platform for that collaboration is a forum on: “Philippine Energy Transition: A Race Through Economic Disruption, Technology Shifts and Innovation” which is slated January 21 next year.

 “In attaining the Philippine energy objective, the ECCP banks on the numerous opportunities and partnerships with like-minded organizations and individuals, especially with recent events that have proven challenging to all of us, there is no better time than to work closer together than now,” Gottein stressed.

For PEIC Chairman Rozzano D. Briguez, who is also the president and CEO of state-run Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC), he qualified that “the Philippines is still on the brink of energy insecurity,” as he spotlighted “the cost of electricity in the country is still among the highest in Southeast Asia.”

For the Philippines to break free from precarious state of energy sustainability, Briguez indicated that key solution is to “continuously explore in our backyard for indigenous resources.”
And with the Covid-19 pandemic that practically shattered the energy world into pieces this year, the next months shall be taken as leverage for players and government planners to be their ‘recharge phase’ on to energy transition.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how crucial the role of energy plays in making the Philippines more resilient and more inclusive. This adaptation to the ‘new normal’ will see a transition to renewable energy, with access to affordable energy being important in economic development,” Briguez expounded.