MANILA— The Department of Energy (DOE) recognizes the need to assert a technology-neutral stance since the energy sector is the driving force behind the country’s goal to attain a 6-percent gross domestic product (GDP).
During Tuesday’s media briefing for the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM35) and Associated Meetings, Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella assured that the department is working to deliver quality, affordable, secure, and reliable energy supply to the Filipino people, without compromising environmental standards.
“We will go with a technology-neutral approach but we will not sacrifice our environmental standards and as much as possible, we will comply with international regulations,” Fuentebella said, referring to the clean coal technology strategy, one of the program areas of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC).
Under the APAEC 2016-2025 program, Clean Coal Technologies is a strategy to enhance the image of coal through best practices, trade and investment, collaboration with global networks, policy research, workshops and yearly submission of ASEAN Coal Database and Information System (ACDIS).
Meanwhile, Assistant Director Carmencita Bariso of the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB) said China has expressed interest,not only in clean coal technology but in almost all program areas of the APAEC.
“Common among ASEAN member states are their targets, energy efficiency and RE (renewable energy), also the use of alternative fuels for transport. China has been engaging ASEAN in almost all areas, like building the clean coal image,” Bariso said.
“We have been meeting with Chinese investors and explaining the opportunities. The good thing for Chinese investors is that we have a lot of Filipino-Chinese who are already involved in the energy sector. We are looking at more partnerships with China as far as energy cooperation is concerned,” Fuentebella added.
“We believe that the energy sector is the driver of the economy and that the goal of increasing our GDP as a region is indeed attainable and we are attracting a lot of countries to invest here in the ASEAN region because of the growth potential of the region. And with more cooperation, more exchange of goods and services, and more economic activities in the region, we believe that we can contribute to the development of everybody. So we welcome other countries coming over,” he said.