Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said Tuesday a green transition for the Philippines should neither add to public burden nor compromise economic growth.
“Green transition for a developing country like the Philippines must be a just transition. It must be a fair transition, and therefore we must avoid the burden of transferring climate transition to an already overburdened Philippine population,” Lotilla said in a forum organized by the Embassy of Sweden.
“Just transition must occur over a reasonable period of time, it cannot occur overnight. We have to take advantage of all sources of energy that are currently in place and to use that in a wise manner but at the same time be able to transition to a cleaner environment,” Lotilla said.
He said additional power generation capacities should come from renewable and cleaner sources of energy. “What does this mean for coal? Definitely, no way of denying we need them still but replace them in a trajectory that is clear, that over time they are going to be replaced,” Lotilla said.
“The growth in demand will be replaced by renewable energy and more efficient power plants and cleaner sources of energy,” he said.
Lotilla said several sectors criticized the use of liquefied natural gas from other countries, even as its role is as a transition fuel. “A number of quarters are criticizing this, and therefore a shift to further carbon-intensive fuels. What do we have to replace LNG if that is needed in the Luzon grid to stabilize variable renewable energy?” he asked.
He said the more variable, renewable energy is introduced to the grid, “the more we need more balancing sources of power and storage systems.” The energy chief said the Philippines should be open to all energy technologies including nuclear.
The Department of Energy recently issued two circulars governing the renewable portfolio standards rules for both on-grid and off-grid areas that would further promote RE development in the country.
“For on grid, that clarifies the implementation and then the enhancement, over time actually it is more on clarity in the implementation of RPS on grid rules. In the off-grid, we totally revised the earlier version we issued in 2018 to make it clearer,” DOE assistant secretary Mylene Capongcol said.
Lotilla signed Department Circular DC 2023-05-0015 amending the RPS rules for on-grid areas and adjusting the annual incremental RE percentage to 2.5 percent from one percent starting this year.
“While implementing the RPS On-Grid Rules and considering the latest consumer development in consumer development and in consumer empowerment, the DOE deemed it necessary to enhance the RPS policies and guidelines towards greater efficiency and effectiveness,” the circular said.
The DOE said all mandated participants, in complying with their respective RPS requirements, should comply with the least-cost sourcing of power supply such as the competitive selection process policy and regulations set by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission.
It said the Energy Regulatory Commission should issue within 60 days from the effectivity of the circular the rules on least-cost mandate with respect to the procurement of RE generation supply for their captive market, as part of complying with the minimum RPS requirements.
The DOE also issued DC 2023-05-0014 promulgating the revised rules and guidelines governing the operationalization of the RPS for off-grid areas.