The Philippines must pursue diversification of its energy source and energy transition in order to improve the country’s energy security in the long run, Senator Win Gatchalian said. He made the call as the country showed a declining trend in energy security from 61.36% in 2021 to 59.67% last year as shown in the World Energy Trilemma Index 2022. This covers import dependence, diversity of electricity generation, and energy storage.
Noteworthy is the fact that even non-oil and gas-producing countries fare better than the Philippines in energy security ranking considering that the Philippines is an oil and gas producing country, Gatchalian said. Examples of these non-oil and gas producing countries are Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, Estonia, Portugal, Switzerland, Uruguay, Kenya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania, and South Korea. South Korea garnered the highest score of 62.15% among non-oil and gas-producing economies in Asia. By comparison, the Philippines posted a score of 59.67%.
“We can glean from the data that even non-oil and gas-producing countries across the globe are able to score high in energy security. The key is pursuing diversification not just of energy sources but also diversification in terms of suppliers, which is just as crucial,” Gatchalian said.
“Given continuing challenges in global energy supplies, the country should also be more vigorous in pursuing energy transition through the increase in renewable energy deployment since these are indigenous and as such are not subject to supply and price shocks, thus ensuring continuous power supply in the long run,” he emphasized.
However, in the short and medium term, energy diversification and energy transition necessitate the entry of liquified natural gas (LNG) to address declining Malampaya output and the intermittency of renewable energy sources.
Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 152 or the Midstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act, to promote the development of the industry to help achieve energy security via diversification of energy sources. This will unlock the untapped potential of natural gas, especially LNG, as a complementary fuel to variable renewable energy, he said.
The vice chairman of the Senate Energy Committee also filed Senate Bill 157, or the Energy Transition Act, for the country to enhance its energy security through sustainable and alternative sources, as well as promote clean energy sources in a bid to keep electricity costs low.
The Energy Trilemma Index, prepared annually by the global forum World Energy Council, is a measure to see how countries are faring relative to each other across the three dimensions of Energy Security, Energy Equity, and Environmental Sustainability.