DOE modifying tack in energy planning

by Myrna Velasco – January 31, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) is shifting tack on its crafting of the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), taking it mainly from a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down scheme.

In his presentation to the media, DOE director Jess Tamang noted they are now focusing on undertaking first the regional energy plans that will eventually be integrated into the comprehensive PEP.

He stressed that in the past, energy planning had been done more on a top-down approach – meaning, the core numbers were taken from a generally national scale rather than referencing them from regional or geographical levels.

Tamang added energy supply-demand scenarios had been drawn on two paradigms: one is business-as-usual (BAU) scenario; while the other is on “clean energy platform” that amalgamates with the Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDC) to carbon footprints reduction that the Philippines has committed in the United Nations’ 21st Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change in Paris last December.

An updated and all-inclusive country-level energy plan had been one of the promised targets of seating Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada, a reversal from just the typical “outlooks” being presented to stakeholders in the past five years.

As culled from the assumptions penciled in by the government. Tamang noted that the economic growth forecast reference to be factored in into the PEP would be at ranges of 6.5-8.0 percent within 2015 to 2030 timeframe.

For year 2016, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate taken into account is at a high of 8.0-percent; while in 2017, it will be at 7.0-percent.

Economic growth assumptions are projected to slow down around 2018-2030, but still at a brisk pace of 6.5-percent.

Tamang said the PEP numbers being crunched have been based on the macroeconomic targets set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) of the National Economic and Development Authority.

The energy official emphasized though that as far as population growth is concerned, it would likely be pared to 1.85-percent annually from a higher base of 2.0-percent in the past.

He noted this has been due to the fact that many of the professional segments of the population have been postponing marriage to a later period.

Essentially, Tamang reiterated that the factors affecting energy demand include economic growth, economic structure, climate change, electrification, population and urbanization.