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Sunday, September 22, 2019
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DOE to promote renewable energy in towns, cities

THE local government units (LGUs) are being urged to craft their own energy plans as the Department of Energy (DOE) eyes to boost the use of renewable energy at the local level.

Michael Sinocruz, planning division chief of the DOE’s Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, said the agency is looking to engage LGUs in the energy planning by encouraging them to increase their use of renewable energy and new technologies.

“We have been pushing for the use of electric vehicles as they would have impact on the reduction of gas emission,” he said in an interview.

Sinocruz attended the public consultation on the Philippine Energy Plan 2018-2040 in Cebu City on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

Last April 12, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) 11285 which establishes a framework for institutionalizing fundamental policies on energy efficiency and conservation. The law includes the promotion of efficient and judicious utilization of energy, and increased use of renewable energy technologies.

Sinocruz said they want to integrate energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) into the development plans of LGUs.

Six seminars were already conducted on mainstreaming EEC at the LGU level in the cities of Cebu, Davao, Batangas and Dumaguete, he said.

The law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) is scheduled for release this November.

Under RA 11285, all government agencies, including state-owned corporations, are directed to ensure the efficient use of energy in their respective offices, transportation units, and in the discharge of their functions.

The new law also creates an Inter-Agency Energy Efficiency and Conservation Committee, which is tasked to evaluate and approve government energy efficiency projects.

The DOE will develop and enforce a mandatory energy efficiency rating and labeling system for energy-consuming products, such as air-conditioners, refrigeration units and television sets. The system aims to promote energy-efficient appliances and raise public awareness on energy saving.

RA 11285 also calls for fuel economy performance labeling requirements for vehicle manufacturers, importers and dealers. LGUs are tasked to implement the guidelines on energy conserving design for the construction of new buildings.

The goal is to enable LGUs in integrating energy efficacy plans in their developmental goals, he said.

The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Program for 2017-2040 targets to increase renewable energy installed capacity to at least 20,000 megawatts. It also aims to implement renewable energy policies to promote the use of clean sources of power.

Aside from increasing the use of biomass, solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal power, the DOE is also looking at the adoption of electric vehicles as a cleaner transport option in the country, Sinocruz said.

Under Senate Bill 2137 (Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act of 2018) filed in December 2018, the DOE would be directed to create a roadmap for electric car use.

The electric vehicle industry is a rising business with several countries moving into adopting a cleaner transport system. However, the Philippines needs to prepare the infrastructure, regulation and policy first before this industry booms in the country. CSL


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