Senator Nancy Binay has urged the Department of Energy to set a clear policy direction on the usage of nuclear energy as a source of electricity for the country and to set a dialog with all stakeholders to discuss proposals to open the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
“Let us talk what will be our policy towards nuclear energy. This visit to the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant is the first step to see if it’s a potential source of energy,” said Binay, who is vice chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
Binay and other lawmakers visited the mothballed facility on Friday.
The Philippines is highly dependent on electricity produced by coal and diesel, with more than half of the power supply coming from fossil fuels. Only 30 percent of the country’s power supply comes from natural gas plants and 10 percent from renewable sources which include geothermal, wind, hydropower, and solar energy.
The DOE said that in 2015, the country imported more than 17 million metric tons of coal, with Indonesia supplying the bulk of it.
Power generation accounted for 79.77 percent of the 22 million MT of coal consumed last year.
The country’s electricity demand is expected to reach around 30,000 megawatts by 2030, the department said.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said the country needs to add about 1100 MW per year, prompting calls to look for alternative sources of electricity in the country, especially that several places in the country experience brownouts and outages.
Binay said that if needed, the Senate can help in the formulation of the country’s nuclear power policy.
“Having seen the facility was a great help to us. As a legislator, it’s a good thing that we talk about it in the Senate,” Binay said.
“I think it’s finally high time that we decide what to do with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant—are we going to use it or permanently close it down?” she added.