November 26, 2020
The Philippine Energy Independence Council (PEIC) and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) are urging industry stakeholders to work together to assure the country a reliable and affordable energy supply.
The council said it will hold two consensus-building events in December and January to gather industry leaders during the National Energy Consciousness Month. “PEIC and ECCP will host a technical working group meeting on December 10 to engage the industry players in a dialogue which will include forming actionable, visionary measures capitalizing on the convergence of technology, industry, and society,” the council added.
The next forum, entitled “Philippine Energy Transition: A Race through Economic Disruption, Technology Shifts and Innovation,” has been set on January 21, 2021. PEIC said this will explore the impact of decisions and policies on future energy supply, presenting a road map that would enable the industry help reverse economic slowdown, address health risks, and achieve electricity access for all Filipinos.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how crucial the role of energy plays in making the Philippines more resilient and more inclusive. This adaptation to the ‘new normal’ will see a transition to renewable energy [RE], with access to affordable energy being important in economic development,” said PEIC Chairman Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez.
Briguez, who also serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Philippine National Oil Co.-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC), said the country is still on the brink of energy uncertainty. “The cost of electricity in the country is among the highest in Southeast Asia. We must continuously explore in our backyard for indigenous sources,” he said.
ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein commented that the energy sector plays a crucial role in enhancing the competitiveness of the Philippine economy. Among the key factors that need to be discussed, he pointed out, are the effective implementation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act and diversification of energy sources.
For his part, PEIC President Rolando Paulino Jr. said there is a need to expand the discussion much further on climate change and the collaboration among all stakeholders. “There will be a continuous clamor for clean energy, which will come from the youth and general population. Recent studies showed that by 2024, wind and solar will overtake capacity of coal and other fossil fuels.
The challenge right now is how we can educate the public on managing their energy use. One should ask: What are the appliances that consume the most electricity? Whether you’re a residential or commercial owner, there is merit in terms of understanding your energy inventory. In the end, it has a big impact on climate change. We can all do something to make energy more efficient.”
AC Energy President and CEO Eric Francia said his organization is committed to bring more RE projects to the country. “There is a socioeconomic impact in terms of investing in renewables. Even if we are taking up more risks now, the fact that it will have an impact on generating jobs and helping the economy grow, we will do that.”
The Philippine Energy Transition Forum on January 21, 2021 will be preceded by a Focus Group Discussion on December 10. Energy experts and stakeholders are expected to participate.
By Lenie Lectura
Source: Business Mirror