Manila Bulletin - Bongbong: Prioritize renewable energy programs to address power woes

22 April 2016

By Mario Casayuran | Manila Bulletin

Manila-BulletinThe next administration should prioritize a renewable energy program to ensure economic development while protecting the environment, independent vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. said on Friday (March 22, 2016).

Marcos said this could be done by prioritizing the building of more solar, wind, and hydrogen power plants to address the country’s problematic power situation.

“This can be done by giving them additional perks on their investments and cutting bureaucratic red tape,” Marcos recommended.

Marcos issued the statement as the Philippines joined a global celebration of “Earth Day”.

As chairman of the Senate local government committee, Marcos recalled his stint as governor of Ilocos Norte where he initiated the construction of the first commercial wind farm in Southeast Asia in his province.

“We are very proud of that because we were the first one to build a commercial wind farm in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Because of his environment-friendly initiatives, Ilocos Norte now has a total of 264 MW capacity of renewable energy production, boosting the much needed power capacity in the Luzon grid.

“At present, more than 70 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated from fossil-fuels (petroleum, coal and natural gas). Experts have predicted that if the country remains to be coal and oil-dependent, Filipinos should expect higher power costs because of the steady increase in the prices of these fossil fuels in the world market,” he said.

The only solution, according to Marcos, is for the country to increase its renewable energy portfolio from the current 28 percent installed capacity.

Marcos also proposed that more support should be given for research and development on the right energy mix for the power sector.

“The country should look at the experiences of other countries on renewable energy to determine what kind of power source is applicable to the local setting,’’ he explained.

“I am advocating for renewable energy but we have a problematic power situation that needs immediate action. We have to explore all kinds of power sources to address the problem because if we don’t do anything about it, foreign investors will continue to elude us due to our high power cost,” he added.