The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking to update the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) in 2023, as the country seeks to hasten renewable energy usage to strengthen the country’s energy resiliency and reduce its dependence on importation.
Michael Sinocruz, director for energy policy and planning of the DOE, in a recent online presentation before business groups said the PEP, which contains the roadmap for the clean energy scenario, normally has to be reviewed annually. He added that “we will update the clean energy plan hopefully next year so we need to do some research to be able to back up the assumptions that we’re going to use for the next Philippine Energy Plan.”
Last year the total energy supply in the country was 50.9 million tons of oil equivalent (MTOE), of which 43.2% was locally sourced and 56.8% was imported. Total energy consumption in 2021 was 35.1 MTOE, half of which was provided by oil and about 22% provided by electricity. The sectors with the highest consumption were transportation and households.
The cost of imported energy has reached new heights, raising inflation rates and posing a threat to the national economy, and prompting urgent calls for the increased use of RE and other alternative fuels.
To realize a clean energy scenario, Sinocruz said there is a need to accelerate and expand the use of renewable energy and other alternative fuels and emerging technologies, strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation, initiate appropriate information and communication technologies in the energy chain, and build up energy resiliency.
Under the PEP 2020-2040, which will be the main path to a clean and sustainable energy future, the target is to attain 35% share of renewable energy or RE in the power generation mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040. Data showed that the RE share in the mix in 2020 was 21.2%. But the shift to RE can be further accelerated, Sinocruz said. The DOE expects this shift to happen when clean fuels and technologies begin to dominate the power generation mix, which could be achieved as early as 2027, the official said.
The RE acceleration plan includes implementing the National RE Program 2020-2040, increasing the mandated 1% renewable portfolio standards to 2.52%; rolling out supportive policies and programs such as the Green Energy Auction Program, Green Energy Option Program, and Enhanced Net-Metering Program; strengthening partnerships on RE development; and establishing a reliable RE infrastructure.
Moreover, the PEP’s clean energy scenario targets 5% energy savings on oil products and electricity by 2040, adoption of advanced and interoperable information and communications technology or ICT in the energy chain, and resilient and climate-proof energy infrastructure.
Sinocruz said the plan also considers a 10% electric vehicle penetration rate in road transport by 2040, but this will be revised in view of the recent passage of the Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act.
The clean energy scenario will require total energy investments of US$153 billion, of which 80% or $115.3 billion will go to the construction of new power plants mostly for renewable energy, said Sinocruz.