MANILA — The Energy Department on Thursday said it will increase biodiesel blend to five percent from two percent by next year.
“For the data, which we have right now, 5 percent can be done,” Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) Director Mario Marasigan told reporters.
He stressed the Department of Energy (DOE) hopes to implement the increased blend by early next year.
However, Marasigan pointed out the Department of Energy (DOE) is still awaiting a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) study, whether the continued decrease of oil prices will have an adverse effect on the income of coconut farmers.
The DOE is awaiting for the study results whether the increased blend will help coconut farmers in their socio- economic development, he said, adding it will also cover the costs to consumers and its overall impact.
The REMB head added they’re still finalizing the results to ensure coming up with new standards, since there were reported flakings on the storage.
If the economic study is completed and technical issues are resolved, the DOE can eventually implement the increased blend. It is among the agency’s target accomplishments for 2015, Marasigan said.
The National Biofuels Board (NBB) have approved the blend’s increase last June 2013, he said.
The five percent blend was targeted to be accomplished in 2013, but was halted due to the increasing coconut prices, brought about by storms that battered the country.
In 2012, the two percent biodiesel blend was easy to implement, with the Philippines holding the world-record for coconut production boasted by its consistent feedstock and refineries.
Meanwhile, the Energy Department is also aiming to raise the bio-ethanol blend to 20 percent in 2020, from its current 10 percent approved blend for 2011. However, there is still no compliance on the 10 percent bio-ethanol blend as of July 2013.