Monsada mulls legacy of ‘updated energy plan’

by Myrna Velasco – November 30, 2015

from Manila Bulletin

A thorough and up-to-date Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) has been lacking for almost a decade already, but Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada is intending to change that “lethargic track” by promising to finally come up with a new reliable blueprint for the country’s energy sector.

This was sounded off by Department of Energy (DOE) acting assistant secretary Patrick Aquino in his presentation before an event of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

He said that the secretary wants to pursue “an updated PEP and RE (Renewable Energy) Plan that could be continued by the next administration.”

The energy department is being required under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to submit an updated PEP annually – and the prescribed deadline is September 15 each year.

In almost 10 years, however, stakeholders in the energy sector have not been provided the typical extensive energy plan that could have been their guide in navigating the sector’s investment terrain.

The DOE just generally presents outlook per industry segment, but a far cry from a wide-ranging energy plan that players in the industry have been hankering for.

Other energy markets globally have been working on 30-year to 50-year energy blueprints and scenarios, but the Philippines seemed to be behind in such kind of planning paradigm.

For Philippine RE sector, the last broad plan was launched during the reign of former Energy and now Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras – and had just been sporadically refreshed from then.

Most of the works that the energy department must focus on in the RE industry would be on the additional policy frameworks to guide investments moving forward.

The provision of subsidy via feed-in-tariff (FIT) is another sphere that may eventually merit review by the government so as not to over-burden consumers with long-term subsidy payments.