By Ashley Erika O. Jose, Reporter

THE Department of Energy’s (DoE) upcoming edition of the Philippine Energy Plan will not commit to a net-zero emission target as yet, with the focus on exceeding the goals for deploying emerging clean technologies.

“We have no commitment and we are not going to commit in a net zero by 2050 because we are looking at several options. What we are going to do is to over-achieve our targets without necessarily having a commitment on net zero,” Michael O. Sinocruz, director of the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, said in a virtual forum last week.

The DoE is hoping to finish the Philippine Energy Plan within the year. It is expected to feature a higher target for the share of renewable energy in the power mix, Mr. Sinocruz said.

“We are targeting a higher share of renewables — more than 50%, and the entry of other emerging technologies,” he said. 

Net zero refers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to as close as zero as possible while offsetting any remaining greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Mr. Sinocruz said that the DoE is considering in its revised energy-mix targets the entry of offshore wind and other clean emerging technologies.

To date, the DoE has awarded 73 offshore wind service contracts with a combined capacity of about 58,531 megawatts (MW), he said.

“We are looking at the development of hydrogen for co-firing and eventually 100% hydrogen depending on the cost as well as its derivative, ammonia which we can use for co-firing coal,” Mr. Sinocruz added.

Currently, the DoE hopes to increase the share of renewable energy to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.

Aside from increasing the share of renewables, the new Philippine Energy Plan will also include a target for nuclear energy capacity of about 2,400 MW by 2035. 

The DoE has said that its updated energy plan will discuss the policy direction for renewable energy, downstream oil, natural gas, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and the clean energy transition.