Manila, Philippines – The solid pace of the country’s economic growth is at risk from the critical energy supply, a global energy expert said in a forum organized by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

“The Philippines…it is going to be the powerhouse in Southeast Asia but high growth makes energy supply a problem,” said Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer awardeee during the AmCham forum titled, “Quest for Energy Security: Perspectives for 2030 and Beyond – A Focus on the ASEAN Region.”

“The country needs to develop other sources of energy like liquefied natural gas (LNG), renewable and indigenous sources instead of just relying on coal.”

“Don’t put all your bets in one horse,” Yergin said.

The Philippine economy grew about 6.8% and 7.2% in 2013. This year, the government is eyeing a growth of 6.5% to 7.5%.

Diversification would balance the reliance on coal.

He added that the United States will have a steady supply of LNG with the development of the sector growing fast because of global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell.

“Shell gas has been around a long time and can be done safely. The US is on track to be the world’s biggest exporter of LNG and Asia will be a big recipient of that,” he said.

Thus, the Philippines will need to diversify its power supply.

However, Yergin said the Philippines’ reliance on imported energy will continue unless new gas fields are discovered from 2024. “Further supply of natural gas may come from imports.” He did also urge the country to include the emerging sector of liquefied natural gas in its energy policies.

“You have 3,000 megawatts of natural gas fired plants and the main field is expected to go down. Gas should be part of your energy mix. The Philippines should be part of the ASEAN LNG market,” Yergin said. “The future of the global energy sector is in for exciting times especially with the entry of electric storage projects.”

On the other hand, LNG is a natural gas that has been converted into liquid for ease of storage or transport. Numerous players have already expressed interest in developing LNG terminals around the country as it is expected that there will be a depletion of gas at the Malampaya by 2024.

Find more information at: http://www.philstar.com/business/2014/11/06/1388442/phl-growth-seen-threatened-impending-power-crisis

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