President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday said it is time to reexamine the country’s strategy of using nuclear energy, particularly with the emergence of new technologies to address the Philippines’ growing power needs.
“I believe that it is time also to reexamine our strategy towards building nuclear power plants in the Philippines,” he said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“We will comply, of course, with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for nuclear power plants as they have been strengthened after Fukushima.”
In the civilian use of nuclear power, he said there are new technologies that allow energy companies to operate smaller-scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations.
As the country focuses on improving the mix of the energy supply between traditional and renewable sources, the Philippines will consider other sources of power aside from nuclear energy use.
The country has already begun using windmill power and is expanding very quickly on solar power production, said Marcos.
Citing World Bank, he said both offshore and on-shore wind turbines have the potential of 255 gigawatts by the year 2030.
Solar power, on the other hand, has steadily increased its efficiency in converting sunlight to electrical power, which is particularly attractive for the Philippines, he noted.
Unlike wind power, solar power is practical almost everywhere in the Philippines all year round.
As the country transitions to cleaner sources of energy, it could focus on using natural gas, the President said, as he vowed to provide investment incentives by clarifying the uncertain policy on upstream gas, particularly in the area close to Malampaya.
Aside from ensuring sustainable sources of power, the country must also examine the entire system of transmission and distribution aimed at lowering the price of energy to the consumer and the industry.
“We must expand the network of our transmission lines while examining schemes to improve the operation of our electrical cooperatives. All this in aid of reducing energy cost especially but not limited to households,” Marcos said. PND