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DOE asked to define energy mix

The Department of Energy (DOE) is now being asked the tough questions as to the specific parameters of the proposed energy mix policy so investors can be properly guided on ongoing and future projects.

AC Energy Holdings President ad Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said the energy mix “is clearly the big picture” when it comes to policy agendas that the current administration must work on, but until now, the details have been blurry.

He said investors, especially in the power sector, have been batting for clarity and a lot of the specifics that must go with that proposed policy.

“When you say energy mix, it’s not only the high level goal but implications on the how. And do you do it by technology? What is really their (government) stand, what’s the role of each technology and what’s the framework? So we can be properly guided,” Francia stressed.

If explanation of policy ramifications can just be done intelligently and the details provided so it can be suitably fleshed out by industry players, he opined that an energy mix framework may just be instituted via an Executive Order, not even a legislated measure.

“But then again they need to clarify and let us understand… for instance, their (DOE’s) push for LNG (liquefied natural gas) at the end of the day… the role of coal, because we’re getting mixed signals from different parts of the government,” Francia said.

He added “that’s important to guide us – the investors – on where things are headed.” In the case of renewables, the Ayala Group executive emphasized that the DOE and other concerned agencies must already start taking serious steps on the enforcement of the Renewable Portfolio Standards.

For coal, Francia reiterated “what is the government really saying? Because I understand that DOE is still open to building base load, competitively-priced coal plants but they should clarify that. At least, it’s clear – we know that it’s supported even that of their equivalent agency at the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). They should build the rules around that policy, there’s still lack of clarity in this.”

Joseph Nocos, vice president for Business Development of Alsons Power Group, proffered that “in the medium to the long-term, the country will need to develop intermediate and peaking capacities.”

He expounded “power demand will grow to an extent that will necessitate the development and implementation of LNG strategy. That will further diversify our energy mix and rationalize project cost.”

Nocos emphasized aside from power generation being the core market, the incursion of LNG in the energy mix could also “pave the way for the use of gas in industrial and commercial applications.”

He further averred that nuclear could be an option, but “that requires and deserves extensive study to establish its technical and economic feasibility,” stressing that ‘such study should have safety as a primary consideration.”