Lawmaker proposes creation of renewable energy body

Veteran lawmaker Rufus Rodriguez on Thursday proposed the establishment of the Philippine Renewable Energy Corp., which will focus on renewable energy that would lower the country’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and minimize the effects of climate change.

Rodriguez pointed out that to sustain economic growth and improve the country’s well-being, Congress must pass legislation to help ensure a stable, affordable, and reliable electricity supply.

He said it is also crucial that the government play a more active role in ensuring an adequate electricity supply through renewable energy sources.

“There is also an urgent need to undertake electrification projects through the development of renewable energy sources in underserved, unserved, and missionary areas,” said the lawmaker of Cagayan de Oro City.

Section 2 of Rodriguez’s House Bill 4205 states that “It is hereby declared the policy of the State to accelerate the exploration and development of renewable energy resources to achieve energy self-reliance through the adoption of sustainable energy development strategies to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.”

Electricity shortage next year

The Mindanaoan solon even emphasized the importance of creating new RE projects, noting Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla’s recent warning of a tight electricity supply in the first half of 2023.

Rodriguez explained that accelerating existing projects and finding new sources will eventually boost supply.

RE resources under the proposed measures include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, ocean energy, and hydropower.

It will, however, abolish the Philippine National Oil Corp.-Renewables Corp. and transfer to the proposed PREC its power, functions, projects, investments, finances, property and other assets, and personnel.

The proposed new entity would also take over the Agus-Pulangui Hydroelectric Power Plant complex and its facilities, which are currently managed and operated by the National Power Corp.

The bill provides that the complex, consisting of seven power plants and located along the Agus and Pulangui rivers in Lanao and Bukidnon, shall be exempt from privatization.

The plants generate about 1,000 megawatts of electricity, which shall be retained to generate a buffer supply for Mindanao, according to Rodriguez.

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