ERC, UN body ink ‘energy transition’ partnership

Published May 13, 2022, 2:28 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has cemented a deal with a United Nations (UN) body that will provide technical assistance to the former on framing regulations for the “energy transition” agenda of the country.

The agreement was inked with the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP), an entity under the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), which takes the form of a multi-stakeholder platform aimed at accelerating energy transition and delivering on the decarbonization goals of the Paris Agreement.

According to ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera, the propounded collaboration with ETP will “increase the effectiveness for both our agencies in terms of fulfilling our respective mandates and functions in relation to moving towards a low carbon energy system.”

The chief regulator explained that the ETP pact “seeks to provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the parties on a non-exclusive basis – in areas of common interest in accelerating energy transition in the Philippines.”

In particular, it was indicated that the ETP will be providing technical assistance that will aid the ERC in “formulating regulations responsive to the purpose of energy transition and moving toward a low carbon economy,” which in the process would accelerate the country’s pace in achieving its nationally determined contribution (NDC) relative to the global climate change diplomacy pact.

The ETP-ERC areas of cooperation include those on: operating and performance standards for renewable energy (RE) generators; energy efficiency as well as strategic regulatory review that will prop the Philippine energy transition journey.

Devanadera qualified “this partnership agreement with ETP is another milestone for ERC and will be of great help towards the achievement of NDC target of reducing carbon emissions by 75-percent by year 2030.”

Through the ETP, the UN body has been engaging government partners as well as philanthropic donors “to support the energy transition in the Southeast Asian region through blended-finance with capacity building and technical assistance support.”

As a starting point, the ERC has committed that it will “undertake assessment of regulatory options to pursue a low carbon energy system and setting the leading parameters for the investments and competencies required to more to such a modern system.”

The domestic power system, at present, heavily leans on coal-fired generation to satiate power demand; but in the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), a definitive massive-scale deployment of RE investments had already been cast – and that shall be the main anchor of the country’s energy transition goal.