TRANSMISSION infrastructure is critical to achieving a 50-percent renewable energy (RE) share in the country’s energy mix by 2040, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla has asserted.
The energy chief, who delivered a keynote message at the launch of the Philippines Economic Update on Thursday, said the government will facilitate the upgrading and modernization of the transmission and distribution lines to support an efficient transition to cleaner energy.
The government, he added, will also resolve to address transmission congestion, whether by adding transmission lines or avoiding subsidies that cause the build-up of excess capacity.
“…In our desire to transition to cleaner sources of power, we need a number of things, and one of them that I want to emphasize is the need for transmission.
“If one takes a look at the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the emphasis on transmission infrastructure in relation to clean energy is clear,” said Lotilla.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) holds the sole and exclusive concession and franchise for operating the Philippines’s transmission network.
The other important element in the PDP is that once the government has fiscal space, it will revisit and re-evaluate financing investment in transmission, Lotilla said.
“And Congressman Joey Salceda hears that message very well. Financing investment will be separated from the regulatory structure of transmission tariffs, and investment in transmission expansion offers enormous potential benefits for efficiency by increasing access to low-cost generation, improving reliability and mitigating counterbalancing market power,” said Lotilla.
The energy chief also sees opportunities to develop the transmission sector alongside with other infrastructure projects.
“The potential for building bridges, whether it’s across Manila Bay, Guimaras, Negros, Panay, and Pangil Bay, these are opportunities for building new transmission lines…So, we see synergies here, we can actually lower the infrastructure costs by building up in parallel the transmission lines as well as the tollways that are going to be built,” he said.