July 20, 2011
Euan Paulo C. Anonuevo
The government and the private sector on Tuesday pushed for energy efficiency and conservation measures to alleviate the country's tight power supply situation.
At the 2nd Philippine Energy Efficiency Forum, Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said the public should contribute to curtailing demand for electricity through new technologies available in the market.
"What we wanted to highlight, if [the country] can save 10 percent of consumption in a year -- that 10 percent savings will result in energy savings of about P55 billion... such savings would not require us to build more power plants that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There's really a lot of advantage," Almendras said.
The country's power supply remains critical because of insufficient generating capacity to cover reserve requirements. As such, power disruptions remain a constant threat, especially during times of extreme weather conditions.
But should the country cut at least 10 percent of electricity use, the DOE estimates this will address power requirements until 2013.
These savings however, depend on the active involvement of the private sector as the government lacks the funds to support a wide-scale energy efficiency and conservation program.
Almendras said investors are apt to put up conventional power sources in more developed countries than in the Philippines.
"This underscores the value of networking and forging partnerships especially with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and with other organizations as well," he said.
ECCP hosted Tuesday's forum in its bid to advocate energy efficiency as a solution to the country's unreliable energy supply.
"We felt that we have to bring together everybody so that we can have an integrated effort in promoting energy efficiency and achieve energy synergy," Hubert d'Aboville, ECCP president, said at the forum.
Matthieu Pento, European Union attache for environment, energy and climate-change, said the public can contribute to energy saving measures by switching to energy efficient lighting, refurbishing obsolete facilities and good housekeeping.
Out of the hundreds of small and medium enterprises that availed of their efficiency program," 75 percent require zero investments [and] 90 percent is financially easy to implement," Pento added.
The EU earlier allocated P4.5 billion in funding for the region to help SMEs cut back on energy use and waste emissions.
Source: Manila Times; Business; 20 July 2011