By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Thursday the government is trying to find new power sources to address the country’s power woes.
In a media interview on board his flight back to the Philippines, Marcos said the government is open to every possible new source of electricity, as he recognized an existing power supply problem in the country, according to the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).
He said one option is to further develop the country’s renewable energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
“So we’re looking at all of them because tama naman ‘yung assessment na talagang kulang ang kuryente natin (because the assessment is correct that our power supply is insufficient). So what else can we do? Find new sources. That’s what we’re trying to do. The situation with the renewables is also improving but we may have found some other technologies na hindi mag-antay ng lead time ng six, seven years (that we don’t have to wait for a lead time of six, seven years),” he said.
“When it comes to power, we’re open to everything. Kahit na ano na pwede nating makuha para makapag-addition sa power supply natin. Syempre nandiyan pa rin – lagi natin iniisip – kailangan marami yung renewables, babawas na yung fossil fuel (Anything we can get to add to our power supply. Of course, we always think of having more renewables to reduce the use of fossil fuel).”
Marcos said the government is also considering tapping nuclear technology as another alternative.
“Well, we’ve been talking about nuclear for a long time. Since at least – even before I took office, pinag-uusapan na namin tingnan ‘yan (we have been discussing how to tap that). It turns out there are many nuclear technologies, iba-iba. Ang dami naming natutunan in our last visit to Washington and then – even ‘yung nasa EU kami, marami palang iba-iba (We learned a lot from our recent visit to Washington and then – even when we were in EU, we learned that there are various technologies),” he said.
During his five-day official visit to the United States, Marcos had discussions with US companies that offer nuclear technologies for government and commercial use.
According to the Presidential Communications Office, Oregon-based NuScale Power Corp., which is known for developing a safe modular and scalable small nuclear power system, is expected to invest USD6.5 billion to USD7.5 billion (PHP415.5 billion) to provide 462 megawatts to the country by the early 2030s.
Marcos also met with officials of Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC), a US-based firm specializing in nuclear technologies and services.
USNC officials expressed interest in bringing clean and reliable nuclear energy to the Philippines, describing the move as “probably a very important way for us to enter the market.” (PNA)