Govt should put up more solar power plants: industry official

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2022 07:09 PM

FP Island solar power plant photo in Quinalasag Island. Handout
FP Island solar power plant photo in Quinalasag Island. Handout

MANILA -- The next Philippine president must prioritize the country's energy modernization program with solar energy as the major source of power, an industry representative said Tuesday.

Tetchie Capellan, chairperson of the Philippine Solar and Storage Industry Alliance, said government must consider alternative sources of energy not just to ensure energy security but also to protect consumers. 

At the weekly Pandesal Forum, Capellan pointed out that electricity consumption in the country usually increases during the summer months, but the Philippines usually faces a limited power supply during that time.

The fact that some power plants in the country are over 30 years old also increases the risk of power outages happening, she said.

Power supply will only increase if new power plants will be finally built, Capellan stressed.

The Philippines, she said, can meet the demand of consumers for more electricty by using its vast solar power resources.

"Etong solar ay ang pinakamataas sa panahon ng summer months, March, April and May," Capellan said.

(Solar is the best during the summer months.)

Putting up solar power plants, she added, is cost-efficient, environment-friendly and easier.

Laban ng Masa senatorial bet David D’Angelo, however, pointed out that putting up a solar power plant would require a vast track of land. 

“The solution to renewable energy is that we bring power generation to the people… the problem is if we bring power generation to big companies, peperahan na naman tayo nyan (they will just charge us more money),” he said.

According to 2020 data from the Department of Energy, about 60 percent of the Philippines' energy still comes from coal and oil, with only about 34 percent from renewable sources.

But under a 2020-2040 plan, the government aims to shift the country onto a larger share of renewable energy such as solar, rising to half of power generation by the end of that period.

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