Senator Win Gatchalian has amended the budget of the Department of Energy (DOE) and proposed an additional P46 million for next year to fund studies on new technologies that will maximize indigenous resources, lowering the cost of energy in the country.
“We have to invest in research to explore the potentials of emerging energy sources. The outcome of which will have a lasting impact in our daily lives and will save us money in the long run,” the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee said.
Gatchalian introduced P20 million for energy transition study, P20 million for a comprehensive roadmap for electric vehicles (EVs) and P6 million for prospects of energy generation through waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities.
“With the exponential decrease in the price of renewable energy and battery storage and 10 more years before our 2030 Paris Agreement commitments, it is paramount for the DOE to start studying scenarios on how to achieve a holistic energy transition in the Philippines towards a decentralized, digitalized and decarbonized energy system without sacrificing energy security and affordability,” the senator said in explaining his move.
The conduct of study on energy transition should have a whole industry and government approach to cover all types of energy utilized in all sectors – agriculture, fisheries and forestry, commercial and industrial, residential and transportation – as well as the roles of various government agencies, Gatchalian pointed out.
The senator, principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1382 or the proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, said his move to allocate funds to study the drafting of a comprehensive roadmap for EVs is in line with the mandate of the DOE as provided under Republic Act No. 7638.
“The EVs have the potential to reduce the country’s oil import dependence and greenhouse gas emissions arising from transport. As such, it is crucial to equip DOE with the resources to prepare a comprehensive program for the roll-out of electric vehicles in the country,” he stressed.
Gatchalian, also the sponsor of a measure to tap the use of waste as a feedstock for energy generation which is the proposed Senate Bill 1789, said the research and studies on WTE is aimed at developing and increasing the domestic supply of local energy resources.
“The WTE remains a largely untapped local energy resource. Allocating a budget for DOE to assess the potential of WTE in the country would be the first step in maximizing this local indigenous energy resource,” he said, adding that the existence of WTE facilities can significantly contribute in solving the garbage problem in the country. At the same time, the senator said that it can contribute to the country’s energy security by having these connected to the grid.