Marcos says PH 'needs to look' at sustainable energy in meeting with Danish envoy

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2022 04:08 PM

Resident and shop owners secure their products at the Bangui Wind Farm on Sept. 18, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
Resident and shop owners secure their products at the Bangui Wind Farm on Sept. 18, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. underscored the Philippines' "need to look" at sustainable and renewable energy during a meeting on Monday with Denmark's ambassador. 

While there are no concrete plans to replicate Ilocos Norte's windmills in other parts of the country, the President-elect expressed his "dedication to seeing that sustainable and renewable energy is the way we need to look," Danish Ambassador Grete Sillasen said after their meeting.

"Our meeting focused to a high degree on the green transition that all countries have to go through these days and these years that are coming," Sillasen said in a press conference.

"We had a focus on talking about sustainability, which is partly the sustainable use of energies so we have green energies and fossil energies but also very importantly, be efficient with the energy we are using," she said.

The ambassador said she shared with Marcos "how Denmark managed to double its GDP (gross domestic product) without increasing our consumption of energy, water, and without increasing our CO2 emissions."

About half of electricity in Denmark is supplied by wind and solar power, according to the country's website. It added that by 2030, Denmark aims to be completely independent of fossil fuels for its electricity. 

Meanwhile, the Philippines, which is regularly affected by electricity outages, relies on imported carbon-belching coal for more than half of its power generation.

Marcos told Denmark's ambassador that the "greenest, cheapest and cleanest energy is one that we do not use," she said. 

When asked for her opinion about Marcos' plan to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, Sillasen said that she is "not an expert" on the issue and could not comment thoroughly. 

"I think that we see in all countries of the world that we need a mix of various type of energies and each country has to decide which is a mix that that country needs," she said instead.

"In my country in particular, we don’t have nuclear energy and there was a decision not to use it but everything is up for reevaluation so it could be one element," added the ambassador. 

"But we all need a varied mix so we don’t rely on one thing only."

Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order earlier this year making nuclear power part of the country's planned energy mix.

Marcos in May said his administration would review South Korean proposals about the revival of the $2.2-billion Bataan nuclear plant built during his father's dictatorship.

Supporters of nuclear power say the technology offers a cleaner option to help meet demand. But critics argue that renewable sources, such as wind and solar, are cheaper and safer to produce in a country hit by earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions. 

— With a report from Agence France-Presse 

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