Dec 182014

Dr. Daniel Yergin

MANILA, Philippines – Global and local energy experts provided different perspectives on addressing the issue of energy shortage in the country as part of energy security in the ASEAN region, during the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) conference held recently in Makati City.

The discussion was led by distinguished thought leaders including Dr. Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winner and vice chairman of global information company IHS Inc.; and US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip S. Goldberg.

For its part, energy and gas technology leader Shell highlighted a crucial factor in the energy mix in Asia, which is natural gas.

 “When we talk about energy, people normally discuss issues about price and access. But equally important are issues relating to supply security and on externalities like health and environment. Balancing all these issues is where we believe natural gas can play a crucial role,” said forum participant Edgar Chua, country chairman of Shell companies in the Philippines.

Chua noted that there is an increasing demand for renewable energy sources due to its lower environmental impact. However, one factor that is deterrent to the complete reliance on renewable energy is its intermittency.

Given the benefits from natural gas such as better air quality, low carbon emissions, and faster gas plant construction, Chua said natural gas can be the ideal complement to renewable energy. 

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Although the Philippines had a 60-percent energy self-sufficiency rate in 2011 and is currently the 2nd largest producer of geothermal energy worldwide, the country is still highly dependent on imported oil from the Middle East for its transport sector, and imported coal primarily from Indonesia and China for its power sector.

Chua pointed out that with smart planning, gas can serve as the backbone of cities, where energy consumption level is high. “By having gas as the backbone of cities, efficient use of energy, minimization of air pollution and reliability improvement will pave way for the use of natural gas in transport, marine, power, and feedstock,” he added.

With the many benefits of natural gas and its wide applications, it should be given the role it deserves in the fuel mix. “All these can only happen if government puts in place the necessary policies to stimulate investments in these infrastructures,” emphasized Chua.

Former Energy Secretary Vince Perez affirmed that “investments are needed to develop our indigenous energy sources and to secure our energy needs.”

 Leave a Reply