Many Filipinos agree on the need to increase the Philippines’ renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower, according to the results of a survey conducted by Pulse Asia Research.
Based on the survey conducted from September 10 to 14, 85% of Filipinos think that it is “truly important” to increase the use of renewable energy.
The findings are part of a recent survey indicate that many Filipinos have been feeling the effects of climate change in the past three years. The survey had 1,200 adult respondents across the country.
Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said the data clearly shows that people share the rising clamor globally towards renewables.
“This is a sentiment in terms of favoring renewable energy, a sentiment that is shared by many Filipinos,” he said during a forum held by think tank Stratbase ADR on November 13.
Priority issue: reliable and affordable electricity
The public clamor for greener energy sources goes side by side with concerns about affordable and reliable electricity. Electricity costs are steep while supply remains unreliable in parts of the Philippines. President Marcos Jr. ordered a performance review of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) during his second State of the Nation Address in July, citing delayed grid connections.
The NGCP is tasked to make sure transmission system are in tip top shape to deliver reliable electricity.
Terry Ridon, convenor of think tank Infrawatch PH, said that the review is only relevant to the government’s job to ensure that the NGCP’s “actions align with national interests including energy security, affordability, and reliability.”
“Beyond the financial implications, the delay in the review of renewable projects affects the entire energy sector’s capability to adopt modern, sustainable, and environmentally friendly practices,” he said.
Ridon believes that a recalibration of the NGCP’s priorities “towards greater public accountability and the infrastructure investment is imperative.”
Delays in grid connections could impede efforts to adress the growing demand and potential investments on renewables in the upcoming years.
President Marcos Jr. ordered a performance review of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in July. He recently attended the APEC CEO summit. (Photo: Bongbong Marcos Facebook)
Well-positioned for renewable energy transition
Majah Ravago, an energy economist from Ateneo de Manila University, pointed out that electricity consumption in the Philippines is projected to quadruple from the 2018 level by 2040.
To meet the power demand, she suggested that the government should ease regulatory burdens and expand transmission to incentivize investments in renewables.
Ravago emphasized that the Philippines is well-positioned to implement the necessary reforms for energy transition. For starters, the government had already liberalized the renewable sector, allowing full foreign ownership of renewable energy projects.
However, she also highlighted that there is no overnight solution to the issue. “Transition is not abrupt,” Ravago mentioned in the same forum. “It is a dynamic process.”
The transition to renewable energy is a crucial step in reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change. The Philippine government had set targets in its National Renewable Energy Program, aiming for renewables to comprise 35% of the energy mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040.
According to the latest report from the Department of Energy, renewables make up 22% of the Philippines’ energy mix.
Up to June 30, 2023, the government had awarded 1,087 projects with renewable energy contracts, promising a total capacity of 113,654 GWh of electricity.