Energy fuels a country’s development as it remains central to its economic activities. In the 1970s, the Philippines, with the rest of the world, experienced an energy crisis brought by the oil embargo instituted by the Middle Eastern oil producers. This caused prices for crude oil to surge. As a net oil importer, the Philippine economy was heavily affected.
Since then, the country’s persisting dependence on oil and fossil fuel imports continue to expose it to international oil price hikes and variable foreign exchange rates that greatly contributes to inflationand worse, energy scarcity. The Philippines’ rising population results to an ever-increasing energy demand, while its archipelagic nature and geographic location makes it vulnerable to natural events that endanger, if not nullify, development efforts towards an energy secure future. Taking all these into critical consideration sparked a renewed development perspective on energy in the Philippines.
The Department of Energy (DOE) was created in 1977 to provide the citizenry with reliable, secure, and sustainable sources of energy to power the country’s growth and development. Corollary to the unstable market prices of crude oil, the Decree also entails that national efforts be directed at achieving energy security and independence.
The DOE rallied for a policy framework designed to empower the indigenous Filipino household through the development of renewable energy sources native to the country. Thus, Republic Act 9513 or the “Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008” was passed—the firstof its kind in Southeast Asia. The RE Law allows for accessible, affordable, and environmentally sustainable energy sources in the form of Biomass, Geothermal, Solar, Hydropower and Ocean, and Wind (BiGSHOW) energy systems. It has created an enabling environment to encourage the private sector to invest and develop RE systems through fiscaland non-fiscalincentives and policy mechanisms that acknowledge all stakeholder interests. It has also given the consumers the power to choose and use RE.
A decade after its passage into law, the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) cites that the RE industry has saved PhP 4.04 billion of energy costs for the Philippines. The RE industry has likewise reduced the country’s carbon emissions by 2.8 million tons as reported by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).
In 2018, the RE sector has generated an all-time high of 23,326 Gigawatt hours. The following year, 112 BiGSHOW power plant sites were up, running, and contributing to the grid. From these continuous developments, the National Renewable Energy Program’s (NREP 2011-2030) target of tripling the RE’s installed capacity from 5,438 megawatt in 2010 to 15,304MW by 2030 is gradually becoming a reality.
This Decade Report briefs the reader of the moments and milestones that led to the RE Law in the Philippines, while visually describing the mechanisms that allow RE to thrive. It also features the positive impact of the RE industry in some of the Philippine provinces that host BiGSHOW energy systems. Lastly, this book discusses the current challenges for renewable energy in the country, as well as the industry’s ways forward.
Through “EMPOWERED: Renewable Energy Decade Report”, the DOE Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB), in partnership with Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), enjoins everyone to celebrate the first10 years of the RE Law and prepare for the decades of RE that is yet to come.