PH outlines energy sustainability path

Published November 11, 2021, 5:07 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

Manila has outlined its envisioned path towards a sustainable energy future during the Energy Transition Partnership event at the ongoing 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.

In his presentation, Energy Undersecretary and Spokesperson Felix William Fuentebella shared the highlights of the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) for the period 2020-2040.

The PEP summarizes the country’s long-term strategic plans and policy initiatives to attain its goals of energy security, equity, and environmental sustainability.

“We crafted a formula to guide us in the energy transition process. This formula brings together renewable energy (RE) mechanisms, energy efficiency and conservation, other energy technologies, information and communications technologies, and resiliency,” Fuentebella said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is pushing the realization of the PEP’s Clean Energy Scenario (CES), where the country’s power generation and energy mixes would shift from being dominated by oil and coal to one featuring clean energy resources and technologies.

COP26 has gathered world leaders to forge an urgent global response to the climate crisis before it spirals out of control.

The CES envisions the Philippines to have a 50-percent RE share in its power-generation mix by 2040.

The Philippines, along with Indonesia, is participating in the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which aims to accelerate the transition of countries in Southeast Asia from coal to green energy.

The ETM is a public-private finance vehicle that aims to both reduce coal-fired power generation through accelerated plant retirement and boost the growth of RE using an equitable, scalable, and market-based approach.

Fuentebella also shared how effective communications play an integral role in expanding the understanding of Filipinos on the role of energy in their daily lives, and how they could be empowered to make wise energy decisions that have a direct impact on the country’s energy demand and supply levels.

“As Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi often says, ‘an informed consumer is an empowered one’. This is why we launched an aggressive communications campaign in 2017. By laymanizing technical energy concepts, we were able to increase energy literacy among our people,” he said.

“At the end of the day, we cannot leave energy solely to industry experts, because our global energy future also lies in the hands of our citizens,” the DOE official stressed.

Fuentebella is part of the Philippine Delegation to COP26, headed by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.