• Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said PH needs to amplify its production to an additional 66,937 megawatts
  • He noted the country is currently 50% self-sufficient in energy supply
  • Gatchalian earlier filed Waste-to-Energy Act for a sustainable way of waste disposal and energy generation

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the government to adopt new technologies to ensure a steady supply of energy and electricity, as the demand is expected to increase by an average of 6.53% every year.

"We have to look at emerging technologies such as batteries and other energy storage systems. We're also in the midst of filing a bill to promote energy storage which includes batteries. No matter how controversial, we should also look at new technologies for nuclear power such as smaller modular reactors and generation IV nuclear reactors," Gatchalian said in a statement on Sunday.

"Although this needs a little more time, we have to look at these emerging technologies since we also have no law or any single regulation on these. We can come up with a corresponding legislation," he added.

Gatchalian noted that the country is currently 50% self-sufficient in energy supply, and imports 100% of its coal requirement to meet the rest of its electricity requirement, while the only source of natural gas is decreasing.

Keeping in mind economic growth, he added the demand for electricity increases by an average of 6.53% a year. This means the country needs to amplify its production to an additional 66,937 megawatts of power supply to sufficiently address electricity demand in the future.

"Because we import a huge chunk of fuel for our electricity supply, any disruption overseas, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, usually impacts the electricity, fuel cost and livelihood of our poorest folks. This is why we need to continually look for all possible ways to improve energy security and supply of electricity in our country," Gatchalian warned.

The senator had earlier filed several measures to ensure energy security in the long term, one of which is the Senate Bill 152 or the Midstream Natural Gas Development Act. It will provide for third-party access to liquified natural gas terminals and transmission pipelines.

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 151 or the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Act, which makes way for a sustainable manner of waste disposal and energy generation, was filed in July 2022. The bill proposes the development and utilization of new and alternative technologies in the processing, treatment, and disposal of solid waste, such as waste-to-energy facilities.

The senator also filed Senate Bill 485, which removes a 100-kilowatt cap on the distribution of energy generated from solar panels. This would benefit businesses, such as factories as it would encourage them to put solar panels on their rooftops.

Lastly, Gatchalian has also filed Senate Bill 157 or the Energy Transition Act, which provides for the creation of an Energy Transition Plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and remove dependence on imported fuel.

A molten salt solar tower stands behind electricity pylons at a power station near Dunhuang