Senator Win Gatchalian said the adoption of new technologies is necessary to ensure energy security amid expectations of stronger electricity and energy demand and to transition the country towards a cleaner energy future.
“We have to look at emerging technologies such as batteries and other energy storage systems. We’re also in the midst of filing a bill to promote energy storage which includes batteries. No matter how controversial, we should also look at new technologies for nuclear power such as smaller modular reactors and generation IV nuclear reactors,” Gatchalian said.
“Although this needs a little more time, we have to look at these emerging technologies since we also have no law or any single regulation on these. We can come up with a corresponding legislation,” he added.
Gatchalian noted that the country is currently 50% self-sufficient in energy supply, imports 100% of its coal requirement to meet the rest of its electricity requirement, and that the only source of natural gas is depleting. On top of that, the demand for electricity in the country increases by an average of 6.53% a year, in tandem with economic growth, which means the country needs to produce an additional 66,937 megawatts of additional power supply to sufficiently address electricity demand moving forward.
“Because we import a huge chunk of fuel for our electricity supply, any disruption overseas such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, usually impacts the electricity, fuel cost and livelihood of our poorest folks. This is why we need to continually look for all possible ways to improve energy security and supply of electricity in our country,” according to Gatchalian.
He has filed several measures in a bid to ensure energy security in the long term. One such proposal is Senate Bill 152 or the Midstream Natural Gas Development Act, which will provide for third-party access to liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals and transmission pipelines.
He also filed Senate Bill 151 or the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Act, a sustainable way of waste disposal and energy generation. Also, Senate Bill 485 removes a 100-kilowatt cap for the distribution of energy generated from solar panels. This would enable more businesses, such as factories, to put solar panels on their rooftops.
In addition, Gatchalian has also filed Senate Bill 157 or the Energy Transition Act which provides for the creation of an Energy Transition Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and remove dependence on imported fuel. Such a plan includes a moratorium on the establishment of new fuel plants and the entry of new internal combustion.