Electricity players gather for inclusive development
CEBU, Philippines — The Association of Electric Supply Industry of East Asia and the Western Pacific (AESIEAP), a regional organization of power industry players, yesterday concluded its CEO Conference with a goal of sustainable and inclusive economic development.
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that there is a need to ensure that the decisions made now will not endanger the ability of the coming generations to fulfill their own needs in the future.
Cusi said that there must be a string synergy among stakeholders to secure a progressive, inclusive and sustainable energy in the future.
The DOE has launched last November the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program to reawaken the upstream oil and gas industry.
Under this enhanced scheme, investors may look into undertaking exploration and development activities by applying for any of the 14 predetermined areas on offer, or by nominating other potential areas of interest.
“Energy security is intertwined with reliability. More than ensuring that existing power plants adhere to the highest operational and maintenance standards, we also need to continuously augment our reserves through building new plants, increasing grid capacity, and investing in more transmission lines. These are things that the DOE could not do on our own, but with the full cooperation of the entire energy industry,” he said.
He added that some of the notable sustainability milestones are the enactment of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Law in April, which will institutionalize EE&C across all national government-owned facilities, business operations, and even in the design of infrastructure projects.
He added that the DOE has likewise issued policies supporting further renewable energy (RE) development, such as the Renewable Portfolio Standards, Green Energy Option Program, and the RE Trust Fund and in the hopes of spurring more RE activity, they have also proposed the establishment of a Green Energy Rate to bring an additional 2,000 megawatts of new RE generation capacity into the grid.
He also asked the participants to consider the Water-Energy-Food nexus as another possible approach towards energy security and sustainability.
“The principle behind this concept is simple. We need water, energy, and food to survive, fight poverty, and bring about sustainable development. And because they are interrelated, it is important to strike a balance among all three, since actions in one sector may more often than not have a direct impact on the others,” he said.
Cusi said that to give a glimpse on how the WEF nexus could possibly figure in helping shape a sustainable energy future for the Philippines, they are looking at the floating solar technology.
“This is something relatively new for us here in the Philippines, but its advantages, as lauded by proponents, fit into the WEF nexus. It is still in its pilot stages in our country, and the few floating solar projects we have are being evaluated for their ability to withstand heavy weather disturbances and their consequences,” he added.
With a theme “Energized Countries, Empowered Communities,” the 2019-2030 AESIEAP gives importance of total electrification, particularly in unserved and underserved areas.
Established in 1975, AESIEAP is the largest regional association of energy stakeholders with over 100 members from 25 countries. (FREEMAN)