Gov’t must focus on renewable energy sources | Inquirer Business

Gov’t must focus on renewable energy sources

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 12:26 AM September 01, 2016

There is no reason for the Philippines to consider nuclear power in its energy mix given the range of alternative options that the country has, not to mention the high risks and costs associated with harnessing it as seen in other first world countries.

“I think there are so many other options. Why focus on nuclear when you have wind sources and solar as well as natural gas. If you put natural gas and renewable energy together, you’ll have a good combination to feed the (electricity requirements) of the country,” said Henry V. Schumacher, senior advocacy adviser at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP).

“Nuclear requires a lot of money. The investment is very high and the risk is very high. So why go nuclear? If we had no other option, I would think you may have to consider nuclear. But the Philippines definitely has other options. Also, if you look at the prices of renewable energy, they are going down and soon the Philippines will have affordable energy,” he explained.


Schumacher was reacting to pronouncements of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi that the government was checking on the      mothballed Bataan nuclear power plant (BNPP) as it considers using the facility to help improve the country’s energy mix. Nuclear power, Cusi was reported to have said, “holds much promise especially for our nation’s long-term energy plans.”


“(First world) countries like Japan and Germany are already getting out of the nuclear source from the point of view that the risks are so high. And that’s just one part. The other part (of the equation) would be, what will you do with the used nuclear rods? They will be active for a hundred years and so where are you going to put them? That’s a big argument all over the world. I believe the Philippines is not ready,” Schumacher said.

“Maybe the government should look at why Germany and Japan are getting out of it and I think that’s a good indication. The Philippines is being hit by heavy typhoons continuously and then earthquakes on top of that. I’m not sure whether you want to expose the country and its population to those risks. There are other energy options and I don’t see the need for (nuclear),” he added.

Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco also noted that there was a need to study the move by the government to the possible inclusion of nuclear in the energy mix.

“Our (energy) secretary is thinking of pushing for nuclear. My view, I think, is that we have to study it further. We have to check whether it’s safe for our people especially for our country, which is prone to typhoons and other disasters. I don’t want to risk our country getting into a disaster like what happened at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan or the Chernobyl accident. With nuclear energy, we have to study it more just to make sure our people will be safe,” Velasco added.

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