Energy efficiency industry seeks bigger role in DoE decarbonizaton, energy security plans

THE energy efficiency industry said it is seeking to carve out an explicit role for itself in the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) plans to achieve energy security and decarbonize the economy.

The Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2) said it supports the DoE view that energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) has a role to play in making the Philippines less prone to shortages in times of peak demand.

However, the industry “was nonetheless expecting (Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla) to make the strategic linkage between EEC and the DoE’s energy security and decarbonization objectives,” PE2 said in a statement.

PE2 said it remains confident that the DoE will fully enforce the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.

Mr. Lotilla conducted a briefing this week committing the DoE to a shift to indigenous sources of energy in order to reduce exposure to volatile energy markets, though environmentalists said its targets to harness renewables are not aggressive enough.

“Secretary Lotilla emphasizes harnessing indigenous energy; we agree with that,” Greenpeace Campaigner Khevin Yu told BusinessWorld by phone.

Mr. Yu said that the government should be more ambitious in turning to RE sources.

“The DoE should tap and harness the RE sources that we have such as solar, and wind. The plan for REs should be ambitious; as of now (a 35% renewables share in the energy mix) is the plan by 2030 and that is quite low,” Mr. Yu said.

Meanwhile, Gerry C. Arances, executive director of Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) said it is alarming that nuclear energy remains a candidate to be added to the energy mix.

He called nuclear energy unstable, expensive and effectively an imported power source.

Mr. Yu added that nuclear power posed risks in the absence of technical know-how, particularly on the waste disposal side.

The Philippines does not have “the capacity to address (the) disposal of waste,” Mr. Yu said.

Mr. Lotilla said on Tuesday that the DoE will review nuclear power options but added that a regulatory framework must be in place for the nascent industry. — Ashley Erika O. Jose