President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the ceremonial laying of the San Gabriel Power Plant Project time capsule in Brgy. Sta Rita, Batangas City  January 14 that include Batangas Governor-turned actress Vilma Santos, among the many manifestations of continued economic growth in the Philippines. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the ceremonial laying of the San Gabriel Power Plant Project time capsule in Brgy. Sta Rita, Batangas City January 14 that include Batangas Governor-turned actress Vilma Santos, among the many manifestations of continued economic growth in the Philippines. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – The Department of Energy on Tuesday revealed it is looking closely at nuclear energy as a long-term solution to the power situation and as part and parcel of efforts to diversify sources of electricity.

“For power generation, we are looking for power diversification so we are looking for all sources, like coal, natural gas, renewables… and maybe on a long-term basis, nuclear power plants,” Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson said during a panel discussion during the Philippine Economic Briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The department is also doing a study on “fuel-mix policy” to secure fuel supply that will help improve power generation.

For 2015 and 2016, more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) would be added to the power generation capacity and largely from the private sector’s “committed power plants,” Ayson noted.

“For the next two years… we see the demand growth and giving consideration to the GDP growth rate… For our part, we have identified committed additional capacity of 1,700 MW and 1,900 MW for 2015 and 2016, respectively,” she said.

“This means that additional power generation [facilities] have been put up,” she added.

Ayson noted some 1,922 MW of “indicative” power plants may be put up for next year until 2016.

Earlier, Energy Secretary Petilla announced that a power crisis is looming and will likely hit in the summer of 2015. He said the government has to plug some 800 MW of supply deficit.

The situation has compelled President Benigno Aquino III to seek emergency powers from Congress for the executive to enter into contracts to add and to raise the generating capacity for the Luzon grid.

Currently, the Senate and the House of Representatives are tackling issue of whether or not the President really needs congressional authority to deal with the power situation. (MNS)