[by Rick Daligdig]
This November, an electric firm that distributes the electricity power in Metro Manila announced another round of power rate hike, the highest this 2021. The culprit? The Malampaya Gas Field shutdown causing the power supply to short of around 3,200 megawatts in Luzon grid. Other factors that push the cost upwards are generation charges, transmission charges, system loss charges, taxes, etc. On the receiving end, the poor Juan Dela Cruz that is almost two years struggling due to the pandemic will shoulder all the increases made.
Our country’s heavily reliance on crude oil and carbon which is imported brings the electricity rates high. In fact, we have the most expensive electricity in the region which affects the appetite of potential investors that we are wooing to invest and put up a business here. Aside from that, we are facing an electricity supply shortages in the near future if the government will not act upon it.
But we can still see a light at the end of the tunnel, the Department of Energy (DOE) has a Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) for the year 2020 to 2040 wherein the country will pursue toward to Clean Energy Scenario (CES) and will help the country achieve a sustainable power supply over the long term. Meaning, we are harnessing the Renewable Resources (RE) energy and expected to achieve a 35% RE share in the power generation mix by 2030 and a 50% share by 2040. How we will achieve that? We need to build new power plants, transmission facilities.
We observe that solar power is one of the available sources of energy adding that we are a tropical country also. Wind energy, geothermal and hydrothermal energy are also available to us. If the plan is realized, our electricity rates will gradually go down, we can compete with our neighboring countries in terms of electric rates and investors will consider us and lastly, our country will be less independent or much better self-reliant to our own energy resources. So Let’s Lights Up! #DM