November 22, 2021 | 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The next administration must act quickly to avert a looming energy crisis and ensure the country has a long-term strategy for stable, sustainable and sufficient supply as the economy reopens and recovers from the crisis. pandemic, Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero said yesterday.
“During the pandemic, many regions experienced further reductions in pressure. What if the country’s economy reopens completely? So soon, anyone who aspires to lead this country after this administration should make public their energy and electricity development program, ”Senator candidate Escudero said in a statement.
“Now that we are trying to recover from the pandemic as we move to the new normal, our resolve to achieve energy sufficiency should be intensified all the more,” he said.
Citing data from the Department of Energy, he said electricity use across the country fell 4.04% to 101,756 gigawatt hours (gWh) in 2020, largely due to the lockdown at the scale of Luzon which ended business operations in the region.
Residential consumption jumped to 34,292 gWh from 30,552 gWh in 2019, with most being forced to stay at home.
The average electricity tariff for residential customers in the Philippines (8.36 P per kWh) was the second most expensive in Asia after the regional economic powerhouse of Japan (12.31 P per kWh), according to a 2018 study by Australian think tank International Energy Consultants.
Manila Electric Co., the country’s largest private electricity distributor serving seven million customers, recently announced that typical households in Metro Manila will see their monthly bills increase by 65P in November to consume 200 kWh. , due to higher production costs.
That brings the overall rate for November to 9.4630 P per kWh, up 0.3256 P per kWh from October, Escudero said.
Lack of electricity has long been a problem for the country, which is hit by blackouts during the hot, dry season and yet electricity tariffs remain high, he said even as he pleaded for the use of clean and affordable energy.
Another way to solve the power supply problem, Escudero said, is to propose new legislation that will support the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2018-2040, which has remained on hold in the Senate and House of representatives since its inception. submitted last May.
The revised PEP, the product of consultation and dialogue between industry players and stakeholders, contains adjustments in light of recent global developments, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the gross domestic product growth target set by the National Economic and Development Authority of 7.5%, the strategies indicated in the PEP aim to ensure the availability of sufficient reserves at 25% at over the next 20 years.
Global energy consumption is expected to increase by 2.2% as global economies recover from the effects of the pandemic, all types of energy are expected to benefit from the increase in demand, Escudero said, citing a report. of the Economist Intelligence Unit, a London-based organization. thinking group.