Over 100 million Filipinos can expect affordable, available power if the government remains committed to current energy policies that seek to promote the development and growth of renewable energy in the country.
That is according to former Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Atty. Jay Layug, who in a speech at the Philippine Power Plant Energy Summit recently said that “with the assumption into office of the Marcos administration and the appointment of DOE Secretary and ERC Commissioner Dimalanta, we have seen a dramatic change in government policies towards renewables.”
According to Layug, a senior partner of Divina Law, the top energy law firm in the country, the administration, in only its first year, has fast-tracked renewable energy programs via decisive steps intended to spur the development of the related sector.
This includes amendments to the implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that would pave the way for the liberalization of foreign ownership in investments; the preferential dispatch of registered generating units utilizing RE sources in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM); and the implementation of the Energy Virtual One-stop Shop (EVOSS) Act, which allows energy companies to apply, monitor, receive the permits they need, and pay required charges through its online platform.
The DOE also recently concluded the second Green Energy Auction Program, which seeks to source at least 11 GW of new capacities from renewable energy resources, Layug said.
Large-scale hydropower and geothermal now comprise the second biggest contributor in the energy mix of the Philippines.
As of 2020, 29% of the installed generating capacity of the country from renewable energy.
Layug also showed the findings of a study by the World Bank that stated that the Philippines is ranked fourth among eight emerging offshore-wind (OSW) markets, with a total technical potential to produce 178 GW via OSW resources.
The energy expert also highlighted out the potential of OSW resources in the country following the publication in 2022 of the Philippine OSW Roadmap developed by the DOE collaborate with the World Bank. The study identified six development zones and projected that in a high growth scenario, OSW could provide 14% of the nation’s energy needs by 2040.
Expanding the renewable energy capacity of the country will also be beneficial to its population, the lawyer pointed out, given the volatility of the prices of fossil fuel energy sources such as coal and oil.
“The DOE is in full gear to implement the National Renewable Energy Program,” said Layug, adding this could translate to next generations of Filipinos with a “bottomless abundance in energy supply.”