DOE weighs nuclear technology as current energy mix under review
MANILA -The Department of Energy (DOE) is studying the possibility of including nuclear energy in its clean energy transition plans, an official said.
Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol recently told reporters that the agency was looking to further build the country’s capacity for nuclear energy technology, such as small modular reactors.
She clarified, however, that the DOE had yet to decide on the target share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.
The agency has so far only announced that it was targeting to increase the share of renewables to 35 percent by 2030.
“So far, we are sticking to it (renewable energy share target). For nuclear, there are ongoing coordination meetings, studies, capacity building and discussions as to the available nuclear technologies,” Capongcol said.
Last year, then newly-installed and returning Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla called for energy diversification by exploring the potential of nuclear energy in the Philippines.
The country’s energy mix is still largely composed of coal, as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never loaded with fuel since its completion in the 1980s.
New road map
As for the ongoing revision of the National Renewable Energy Program, the official explained that the DOE was still in the process of collating and reviewing all necessary information and documents, including potential capacity per clean energy technology and a long-term alternative to the agency’s Green Energy Auction Program.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), a revised version of former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s 2020-2040 PEP, is expected to be released by September.
Capongcol noted that a draft was ready for internal review and should be completed by then for submission to Congress.
“The Philippine Energy Plan is actually the whole of the energy sector’s plan. There will be bits and pieces of sectoral plans for renewable energy, oil, natural gas, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, [and the] clean energy scenario,” she added. INQ
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