The country’s energy industry has to make and carry out firm decisions to become more independent and resilient as it has now arrived at “a state of climate justice” that is well beyond mere mitigation.
“Our energy self-sufficiency is about 53 percent, which represents the share of our region’s energy sources to total,” said Department of Energy – Energy Policy and Planning Bureau director Jesus Tamang during the webinar entitled “Energy in Sustainability: Renewable Energy Solutions at the Core of Climate Crisis” conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) in partnership with the Philippine Energy Independence Council (PEIC).
“At the level of 34 percent share of renewable energy in 2020, the Philippines remains to have the highest renewable energy share in total primary energy supply among all the ASEAN countries. This puts us at the forefront of the sustainability game in the region,” he added.
The webinar, which is part of the 2021 Energy Smart Forum Series, sought to come up with a roadmap toward the use of cleaner energy sources by 2040 to prevent an energy crisis.
“An opportunity that the country has set is to increase its target renewables output from 21 percent to 35 percent by 2030. Renewables definitely have a major, major role to play. Energy independence is a critical imperative in this day and age,” said Eric Francia, President and CEO of AC Energy and PEIC board member.
According to PEIC president Don Paulino, progress can be achieved with an informed collaboration between the government, the private sector, and the general public.
“There needs to be an active request and participation by other people in the country. We need to demand from our leaders, whether it’s the public, the government, or the private sector, to think about climate change. You have a voice, by educating yourself, by being a part of the public discourse, and by actively campaigning. We need to make sure that public issues on energy are properly discussed so that by 2040, 2050, we’ll actually be carbon neutral as a country,” Paulino said.
PEIC Secretary Antonio Gabriel La Viña said the Philippines is in “a stage of climate justice and no longer a stage of mitigation.
“The decision must be done in a just way,” he said.
“We need to intensify our efforts towards indigenous energy explorations within the country's jurisdiction. That will support our road to energy independence. The climate crisis concerns us all, and we should take part in solving it in whatever way we can,” added PEIC executive director Amor Maclang.
Nazrin Camille Castro, branch manager at The Climate Reality Project Philippines, said innovation and economic development will continue to support the transition toward clean energy,
“The Philippines is now ready to modernize its power system. The need for a clean energy transition in the Philippines is more on the matter of modernizing its economy, delivering affordable power to the Filipino people, and driving energy self-sufficiency,” Castro said.
“We have emphasized the competitive renewable energy zones. It’s where to put these renewable energy developments that are already easier to connect to the grid so that we can reach our goals, and rolling out the green energy option for the contracting of the smaller plants and partnering them directly to contestable customers,” added Energy Undersecretary Felix Fuentebella.