Report: Philippine fossil gas landscape
Amid climate and economic crises and intensifying power woes, the Philippines seeks to heavily develop its dependence on another fossil fuel: fossil gas.
CEED’s latest report explores the current fossil gas landscape and takes stock of proposed policies, laws, and plans for the development of the fossil gas industry and their implications to energy security, power rates, critical ecological areas, and climate goals.
PH fossil gas expansion plans will worsen, not solve, energy insecurity, price and sustainability woes
With its latest report, CEED raises alarm at the rapid expansion of the fossil gas industry in the Philippines, which would lower the country’s energy self-sufficiency by building dependence on foreign supply, threaten the stability of electricity costs and availability, and exacerbate ecological challenges.
This report is released just as the Department of Energy (DOE) announced it is eyeing 13 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity to be imported in the country to fire up a wide pipeline of LNG terminals and fossil gas power plant projects.
“The Philippines is one of the countries in the world most vulnerable to ecological and climate risks, charges the second highest electricity rates in all of Asia, and remains challenged in electricity accessibility and sufficiency. We already know from a decade of coal expansion that dependence on fossil fuels – especially on imports – brings all these about, yet we now plan to do it all over again with fossil gas,” said Avril De Torres, Research, Policy, and Law Program Head of CEED.
All fossil gas supply used by existing power plants is currently indigenous, but reserves in the country’s primary gas field, Malampaya, are dwindling and expected to fully run out by around 2027.
De Torres adds, “with no clear energy transition plans that would determine whether or not fossil gas is truly necessary, it makes no sense for the Philippines to entertain new fossil gas projects just as Malampaya’s life span is coming to an end. The DOE should not be catapulting us to foreign supply dependence and continued reliance on fossil fuels while neglecting the Philippines’ vast and readily available renewable energy potential.”
CEED’s report also calls attention to the devastation that planned addition to the country’s fossil gas fleet will do especially in Batangas province and the surrounding Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor (VIPMC), where six proposed LNG terminals and nine of thirteen operating and planned fossil gas power plant projects are located.
“From existing facilities in Batangas, we’ve seen the damage fossil gas can do to marine life, and the disturbance and risks it can bring to communities. We cannot imagine having that multiplied. We join the call to stop the expansion of fossil gas and move instead towards clean renewable energy because we want to protect the future of our children and preserve the VIPMC which provides many of our people means to make a living,” said Rollie Silang of the Ilijan Community Development Foundation.
According to CEED, expediting the development of renewables, updating the grid for renewable energy integration, and harmonizing policies and plans for a sustainable energy transition will serve Filipinos far better than advancing fossil gas.
“Achieving a transition pathway aligned to the 1.5°C ambition of the Paris Agreement while securing access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy for Filipinos is entirely possible today. The DOE and the Philippine government must not allow fossil gas expansion to be a roadblock to that,” said De Torres.