Press Release
June 7, 2008

RE bill will free RP from mercy of oil price hikes -- Angara

In light of escalating global oil prices, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the immediate passage of the proposed Renewable Energy Act of 2008, saying that this will encourage local entrepreneurs to go into the development of the country's vast alternative energy resources and decrease our dependence on imported fuel.

"We are at the mercy of constant world oil price hikes. Each year, we import 94% of all our crude oil needs. Meanwhile, our oil consumption is projected to rise by more than 10% in the next decade," he said.

Angara said that the country's 2006 net oil imports (crude and petroleum product imports less petroleum exports) went up to 20 percent to $6.8 billion, funds which could otherwise have been spent on public services funds such as schools and hospitals. The high cost of imported fuel also translates to high power prices which are passed on to consumers.

According to the study made by the Renewable Energy Coalition, if the country saves even half of its net oil imports, it can use this amount for social and infrastructure programs such as: sending 17 million children to elementary school, building 250,000 classrooms, putting up 135,000 health centers, feeding 14 million families, and building 38,000 farm-to-market roads.

At the recent Kapihan sa Senado, Angara said that solar, geothermal, hyrdo and wind energy are proven power technologies, for which we have great and untapped potential.

According to the DOE, the country's resource potential for geothermal energy is 4,531 MW; hydro at 13,097 MW; biomass at 277 MMBFOE; solar at 5.0-5.1 kWh/m2/day; wind at 76,600 MW; and ocean at 170,000 MW.

"There is a need now more than ever to explore our alternative sources of fuel and energy. Our future is in renewable energy. Many countries have already begun the transition from total dependence on oil, and it would be to our great advantage to follow suit," he said.

He added, "we need to pass this measure now because of the immediate and long-term positive effects of renewable energy in preserving our environment and stemming global warming and climate change," Angara said.

He noted that at least 56 countries worldwide now have some type of renewable energy promotion policy and that several developing countries are actively engaged in enacting policies.

"At least 11 developing nations ranging from Cambodia to Turkey have some sort of national policies to promote, encourage or directly fund clean energy development. We should not allow ourselves to be left behind."

Angara said that developing the Philippine's RE potentials would wean the country from dependence on imported oil.

"I'm not saying that the Renewable Energy Bill will be the magic bullet that will solve all of our energy problems but I believe that it is a vital step we must take in order to harness and develop the vast alternative energy resources that our country possesses, to benefit both present and future generations."

"We have the resources, we have the manpower, and we have all the opportunities. What we need is a legislative measure that will provide the much needed incentives, and investment environment conducive for developers of renewable energy technologies."

"We must act now to ensure that the Philippines become one of the most attractive investment destinations for major renewable energy players in the global market," he stressed.

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