Press Release
December 1, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged interim Energy Secretary Rene Almendras to ensure that his agenda for energy reform will redound to bringing down power costs for households and businesses.

Angara said that the department's proposed measures to significantly expand energy access are remedial steps toward the ultimate goal of making the country energy competitive.

Almendras promised during the hearing of the Commission of Appointments regarding his confirmation that the energy reform agenda would encompass making power both widely available and affordable.

He revealed that the country faces critical power supply shortfalls in 2011 and 2012. Luzon would have a supply gap of 300 megawatts in both years from a peak load forecast of 7,900 MW, while Mindanao would have a shortfall of 90 MW to 150 MW especially during the summer months when water levels drop and hydropower plants, its main generating source, would be rehabilitated. On the other hand, Visayas is set to have excess supply amounting to 200 MW when two new coal-fired plants come online by February 2011 in Cebu and Iloilo.

Angara agreed with Almendras' plan to accelerate the development of all available energy sources. But he emphasized that cultivating indigenous renewable sources must be prioritized because not only will it wean the country off its dependence on expensive imported petroleum, but also jumpstart the nascent clean energy industries in the country.

He pointed out that the Korean government is keen to extend financial support to projects that aim to produce ethanol from seaweed, an extraction technology mastered by Korea.

As chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering, Angara made sure that a P100 million seed capital was earmarked for the establishment of the Renewable Energy and Research Development Institute.

"I hope you will activate the institute," Angara told Almendras.

He added, "I hope the secretary will give a push to research and development in renewable energy."

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