THE share of renewables in the Philippines’ energy mix has declined to just under 21% from nearly 34% since the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008 was passed, posing a threat to power self-sufficiency because much of the non-renewable fuel requirement is imported, the head of the government’s renewables regulator said Friday.

“The share of renewables since the RE Act was passed has actually been declining. When the RE Act was passed, renewables… accounted for almost 34% of the power that’s supplying the system. Over the years, that has declined to (over) 20% at the end of 2019,” National Renewable Energy Board Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta said in a webinar organized by the Center for Empowerment, Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy and other groups.

The Department of Energy’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB) estimates that the share of RE was 33.9% in 2008. At the end of last year, the share was 20.8%. Meanwhile, energy self-sufficiency — the degree to which the power industry relies on indigenous resources — was 46.85 at the end of 2019, against 67.09% in 2008.

Initial estimates from the market operator indicate that the share of RE in 2020 was unchanged from a year earlier, Ms. Dimalanta said.

According to EPIMB data, the share of coal has risen to 54.6% at the end of 2019 from 25.9% since the passage of the RE Act.

“If we increase our RE share, then we become more energy self-sufficient. Why? Because we import most of our non-RE. In fact, practically all our non-RE sources are imported, except for gas,” Ms. Dimalanta said.

This year, the World Energy Council’s Energy Trilemma Index ranked the Philippines 76th in the world, with an overall score of 60.3. The index ranks countries by their ability to manage the so-called “trilemma” of providing secure, affordable and environmentally-sustainable energy. — Angelica Y. Yang