PH urged to develop ‘all forms’ of power sources
MANILA -Developing “all forms” of energy sources, including nuclear power, while considering their impact on the environment is crucial in meeting the rising electricity demand in the country, according to Aboitiz Power Corp.
AboitizPower president and chief executive Emmanuel Rubio said that to meet the Department of Energy’s (DOE) projected 6.6-percent annual growth in electricity demand, the country needs to develop more renewable energy and liquefied natural gas (LNG) technologies.
“[But] transitioning to a more sustainable energy future will take time. The journey necessitates the construction and upkeep of two distinct energy systems: one that ensures the reliable and sufficient meeting of our current energy needs and another that paves the way for cleaner, greener energy delivery over an extended period,” Rubio said this week at the Giga Summit event headed by Manila Electric Co.
The DOE previously estimated that the country’s electricity demand would peak to 25 gigawatts (GW) in five years from the current 17 GW.
At the same time, the DOE aims to increase the share of renewables in the Philippine energy mix from the current 22 percent to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.
To achieve both, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the private sector has to add by 2028 a total capacity of 8 GW, 43 percent of which must come from renewable energy sources.
For his part, Rubio said AboitizPower was “actively exploring” small modular reactors (SMRs) for quick capacity deployment and flexibility once these become commercially available.
SMRs are nuclear reactors that are ideally built in smaller areas that are not suitable for larger nuclear power plants.
Rubio disclosed in August that AboitizPower was in “early discussions” with US-based nuclear developer Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. to study the viability of developing the technology in the Philippines.
He added that AboitizPower was also in talks with the government to develop the necessary protocols for nuclear power development.
As for other potential energy sources, Rubio said the company’s LNG facility, which was set to operate in Quezon province, could be launched by the end of President Marcos’ term in 2028.
“To ensure a continuous and brighter future as our economy grows, we must maintain and invest in these energy sources to keep the lights on today and illuminate tomorrow,” Rubio added.
While considered “cleaner” than coal, LNG is still a fossil fuel that consumer groups have been clamoring against, saying that these could result in even higher electricity rates for consumers.
LNG currently supplies a fifth of the country’s electricity requirements.