Energy plan saved Philippines 28-M barrels of oil, says DOE exec


BAGUIO CITY—The country’s national energy conservation program saved the equivalent of 27.48 million barrels of oil last year, an 11-percent increase compared to the previous year’s savings, an official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

Despite higher world fuel prices this year, the country’s conservation program could improve even further since consumers likely would not splurge while petroleum prices continue to rise, said Efren Balaoing, DOE Luzon field office director.

‘Silver lining’

“That’s the silver lining [in our struggle against fuel prices]. People will conserve energy more,” Balaoing said on the sidelines of a household electricity conservation seminar at City Hall here on Tuesday.

On Saturday, the city government closed a portion of downtown Session Road to vehicular traffic for the city’s Earth Hour countdown. Nongovernment organizations and the Benguet Electric Cooperative also organized an Earth Hour event at the Baguio City jail.

Balaoing said last year’s energy savings improved from the 2010 results of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program, which saved 24.8 million barrels of fuel oil equivalent.

Based on the agency’s July 2011 records, government agencies managed to save P1.8 billion which could have been spent on their energy consumption, he said.

Awareness of the impact of a changing climate also shaped the energy efficiency programs of 59 companies, resulting in savings equivalent to 91.97 million liters of fuel worth P3.6 billion in 2011, Balaoing said.

He said the consumers’ ability to control their energy use could help ease worries about a potential energy crisis because of how people anticipate the impact of the power outages in Mindanao on the rest of the country.

Balaoing said the DOE was helping develop 20 new hydroelectric power projects in the Cordilleras, a natural cluster of upland watersheds, to supplement the electricity supply generated by existing power plants.

Coal as an option

But coal-fired power plants remain the cheaper option for the government, he said.

To date, a kilowatt-hour of electricity generated by coal-fired plants sells for as low as P5, compared to the P6.15 per kWh of power generated by hydroelectric plants, Balaoing said.

The DOE, he said, is aware of the objections raised against coal-fired plants by environmental groups. “But the technology is now safer,” he said.

The DOE has to process 30 coal mining projects to fuel these power plants, which would require P2.2 billion in combined investments, Balaoing said.

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  • Chloroform

    coal-fired plants can be safer if they are willing to invest in the pollution reduction technology…

  • Bansot

    Is the rotating power blackout currently happening in Mindanao and will surely happpen in Metro Manila as well this coming summer are part of the goernment energy saving’s plan???  STOP FOOLINGI US AROUND DUMBO!!!!!

  • Coty

    ha ha , put the BNPP operational and it will save a lot more million barrels of oil annually!  “nuclear reactors emit no greenhouse gases. today’s plants are preventing emissions of 2.5 billion tons of CO2 annually”!
    “what happened in Japan is terrible, the environmental and human damage is clearly very negative, but if you compare that to the number of people that coal or natural gas have killed per kilowatt-hour generated, it is way, way less! but nuclear mishaps tend to come in these big events- Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Fukushima-so it’s more visible. Coal and natural gas have much lower capital costs, and they tend to KILL only a few at a time, which is HIGHLY PREFERRED by POLITICIANS.”!

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