By Ressan Nash N Alonto
Secretary of Energy Jose Rene Almendras visited Xavier University on May 16 for a lecture-discussion on the alleged power crisis in Mindanao.
Almendras said that the Philippines uses more renewable energy with 26.3% of total power generated in the country classified as renewable to non-renewable compared with other ASEAN countries (with the exception of Laos, which he said consumes 100% renewable energy) and countries in the European Union. He also said that the Philippines is a world leader in renewable energy and that the aim of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to make the country self-sufficient. To further illustrate his points, he showed graphs on the market demand for power in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, as well as the status of power plants in Mindanao.
On oil and coal exploration, Almendras expressed that while there are potential sources of petroleum and coal in the country, there is little development taking place. He added that renewable energy is projected to contribute 1,088 megawatts in the short term and 3,746.80 megawatts in the long term to the country’s total energy supply. DOE is planning to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in South Cotabato and Davao City, as part of its plan to develop LNG in the Philippines. Almendras introduced the Compressed Natural Gas buses and the e-Trike as replacement for diesel-powered vehicles. These types of vehicles are already being used in places like Mandaluyong, Puerto Princesa, and Boracay.
Besides, Almendras presented improvements in the Pulangi IV reservoir, which underwent rehabilitation. He also introduced the “BRIGHT NOW!” campaign to promote energy conservation.