DOE seeks industry inputs on energy plan updating

By Myrna M. Velasco – November 7, 2016, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Via public consultations, the Department is Energy (DOE) is soliciting inputs from various segments of industry stakeholders on its updating of the Philippine Energy Plan.

The consultation process had been brought to key cities, including: Cagayan de Oro and Davao in Mindanao; Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas; and Legaspi and Metro Manila in Luzon.

The PEP is a consolidated version of the Power Development Plan, Transmission Development Plan and the Distribution Development Plan – which also factored in sectoral inputs and planning of various sub-industries.

The energy plan being presented to the stakeholders are of two-tiered design: One stretches for 15 years; and the other is of longer term or until 2040.

The long-term horizon is in line with the “2040 vision of the Duterte administration” that generally revolves around the government’s aim to triple real per capita incomes and possibly eradicate hunger.

The DOE previously indicated that it will be employing “bottom-up approach” on its energy planning, meaning, it will give prime consideration to the needs of each region and distribution utilities in the overall blueprint.

Essentially, this will complement the more traditional “top-down planning strategy” that looks at the energy requirement of a country first from a national scale then down the regions.

According to Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, the crafting of the PEP integrates roadmaps and similarly identified the gaps relating to the Philippines’ bid for energy security and broadening energy access across segments of end-users – not only in terms of supply availability, but also of reliability and service quality.

The energy chief indicated that the adjustments in energy planning shall be anchored on the country’s need to set the foundation for “inclusive growth” – one that shall have trickle down effect on the marginal segments of society.

On a wider perspective, key players of the industry have been batting for the integration of an energy mix policy in the department’s forward planning.

The department previously presented aspirations of a low carbon scenario versus business-as-usual state in the proposed energy plan updating.

However, with previous assertion of President Rodrigo Duterte denouncing the “ambitious carbon footprints reduction’ pledge of the Philippine in the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), planning variations may be enforced in the PEP updating.”

For this administration, it wants to advance first the country’s brisk economic growth aspirations – and that could only be propped dominantly by coal plants for base load capacity – at least in the immediate term.

Project developers are also tugging their way into aggressive installations of renewable energy (RE) facilities, but as far as the energy department is concerned, such must be realized without the relentless punishing impact of feed-in-tariffs.