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DOE chief Lotilla eyes hybrid system as long-term solution to Philippine energy problems

Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla on Wednesday said they are looking at shifting to hybrid systems to provide long-term solutions to energy problems in the Philippines.

"The long term really to shift to hybrid systems. We must end this overdependence on petroleum and petroleum-based fuels because otherwise we will always experience the volatilities in prices and, therefore, it means we would have to invest in solar, in wind, and as you mentioned even newer technologies," Lotilla said during a briefing with the Senate energy committee.

"Hopefully, down the road, ocean, thermal, hydrogen, offshore wind, these are the things that we need to invest in so that our people don't have to depend on petroleum-based fuels," he added.

However, Lotilla said this could not happen in a short period of time but it should start immediately, especially now that the cost of renewables are declining.

"This could not happen overnight...but we know that there is a time for everything under the heavens because at that time, we could not shift in a massive way because the cost of renewables was too high and now the cost has been declining," he said.

"So time is on our side but to be able to do this, we need certain reforms," he added.

Lotilla said he is inclined to discuss reforms in the energy sector with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangadaman who are both sitting as board members of the National Power Corporation and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).

One of the points of discussion that he would like to tackle with the Finance and Budget secretaries is lengthening the corporate life of PSALM.

Further, Lotilla said they are also looking at reviewing the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), reforming the system covering the electric cooperatives, strengthening the processes in the Energy Regulatory Commission, and promoting competition in the energy sector.

On Tuesday, Lotilla said the government is looking at long-term solutions to address the recurring power outages in off-grid areas.

This, after Senate energy committee chairman Raffy Tulfo filed a resolution seeking an inquiry into the "persistent and recurring" power outages and rotational blackouts plaguing several parts of the country in the past two years, including Mindoro, which he described as the "most disturbing" case among all regions suffering from power outages.—AOL, GMA News