Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Energy (DOE) and other sector stakeholders to revamp the current energy roadmap with a vision of Philippines fully sustainable on renewable forms of energy.
Under the current Philippine Renewable Energy Roadmap, DOE aims to increase the renewable energy capacity of the country to about 15,304 megawatts by 2030, almost triple its 2010 level.
Gatchalian stressed that Philippines needs to have an energy sector that has a 100-percent threshold on renewable forms of energy in his speech in the 2nd Annual Convention of the Philippine Association of Extension Program Implementers, Inc. (PAEPI-Global).
“We need to go further in our energy strategy. The vision we must set is clear – a hundred percent renewable electricity in the Philippines,” said Gatchalian, who is a member of House Committee on Trade and Industry.
“To do this, the government should conduct a study to know how long it will take us to reach such threshold, and determine where will we source and harness renewable energy,” he said.
Gatchalian cited a paper released by Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung Foundation, which stated that Philippines’ untapped resources in solar, wind, and hydroelectric could generate the entire country’s needed electricity for 2015 several times over.
He also mentioned a study from KPMG Global Energy Institute, which showed that renewable energy sources such as hydro power, ocean energy, geothermal, wind, and solar can provide at least 250,000 megawatts more than current capacity as of 2013.
During his speech, the lawmaker also encouraged the energy sector to emulate efforts of European countries in their support toward policies, which aim to develop the infrastructure and technologies needed to make renewable energy sources.
In 2011, Iceland already achieved the goal of 100-percent renewable electricity through geothermal and hydroelectric sources. While Denmark and Scotland passed laws mandating that electricity must be generated solely from renewable sources by 2020 and 2035, respectively.
If the government will reform the current energy roadmap, Gatchalian vowed that he will file a bill to mandate that the Philippines shall harness its electricity solely from renewable sources by a certain year, following the footsteps of Iceland, Denmark, and Scotland.
The legislator said adopting will renewable forms will avoid pollution, climate degradation, and public health issues caused by harnessing energy from fossil fuels.
“An investment in renewable energy is also an investment in a sustainable and efficient future for our economy and our society,” Gatchalian said.
“It is an investment that will pay environmental and economic dividends for generations to come,” he added. (Tim Alcantara)