BBM govt needs to define energy mix plan–ERC

The new administration will inherit a list of pending to-dos in the power sector that needs immediate resolution.,Outgoing Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Agnes VST Devanadera pointed out that the first thing the future energy leaders of the Marcos government should establish is a fixed energy mix plan. It should also include a definite target increase in capacity every year and per technology.,She also noted that the share of various types of energy resources like natural gas, renewable energy, or nuclear energy should be properly identified in the energy mix plan.,Devanadera said such a plan is needed for the next 40 years to ensure that it doesn’t change from government to government. As such, they should work closely with the legislative body so that the energy mix plan can be made permanent through legislation.,“There have to be consultations with other agencies, like the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) because remember, it should go side by side with the development plans for the Philippines.,It is important that we define the energy mix so that we would be able to come out with policies that are supportive of that,” Devanadera told reporters.,Energy security attracts investments,According to her, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines should also be tapped to ensure that the new capacity will match with the existing available transmission capacity to avoid any unutilized capacity.,The ERC chief said the government may consider gradually increasing the available capacity in the next six years: 200 megawatts (MW) for 2023, 300 MW for 2024, 600 MW for 2025, 600 MW for 2026, and 1,000MW for 2027.,“In some countries, that’s covered by legislation so that changes in the administration due to the election will not affect the energy mix and it will be more difficult to look into, change the energy mix,” she said.,Devanadera reiterated that establishing a more secure and stable energy plan would also entice foreign investors to come in and pour the money into local power projects, which are usually capital intensive and long-term in nature.,Nuclear power needs prioritization,Despite the intense drive of the Department of Energy (DoE) to use non-conventional sources, the Philippines is still heavily reliant on coal.,In its updated Philippine Energy Plan, the DoE targets to ramp up the RE share in the power generation mix to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.,Devanadera also pointed out that if the government wants to shy away from coal, it should fast-track the development of nuclear energy to complement the recently issued executive order that seeks to pave the way for utilizing nuclear power as a viable source.,President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 164 entitled, “Adopting a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program, and Other Purposes” on 28 February.,Following this development, the DoE proposed to create a specialized regulatory body — to be called Commission on Nuclear Energy — to safeguard the integration of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix. However, Devanadera said the Office of the President (OP) should oversee nuclear development.,“An EO can be issued that creates maybe an agency under the OP just to oversee, especially that there have been accidents in other countries so that should be looked into,” Devanadera said.,“Why do we have to give so much importance to nuclear energy? That’s the only source that can provide power in a big capacity. We are not just talking about 100 megawatts, we’re talking about bigger capacities here, and only nuclear power can deliver that,” she explained.,In March, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) Director Carlo Arcilla disclosed that South Korea offered to rehabilitate and redevelop the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant ( BNNP) for $1.1 billion within the next five years.,Arcilla said the offer would pave for the fastest integration of nuclear power in the national energy mix.,