Electricity consumption in the Philippines for the year 2022 averages at 113 watts per person, which is significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. The majority of this electricity, almost 78% or about 88 watts per person, is generated from fossil energy sources, with coal alone accounting for nearly 47%. The contribution of low-carbon energy to the electricity mix is relatively lower, about 25.51 watts per person, which is just above 22% of the total consumption. This contribution is spread across geothermal, hydroelectric, biofuels, solar, and wind energy sources, with geothermal and hydropower being the largest contributors. The lower level of electricity generation compared to the global average could potentially hinder economic and social development in the country, as an adequate and reliable supply of electricity is crucial for various sectors, such as industry, services, and agriculture. Also, with the high dependence on fossil energy, the Philippines could face challenges in terms of air pollution and climate change. It's also important to note, Philippines neither imports nor exports electricity from or to other countries/regions.
Given the current state of its electricity consumption, it is imperative for the Philippines to increase its low-carbon electricity generation and reduce its dependence on fossil fuel energy. Looking at other countries, several possibilities present for expanding low-carbon energy. Like the Philippines, Denmark and Sweden have significant wind energy generation, so the Philippines can perhaps learn from their successful implementation to harness its own wind energy potential more effectively. Nuclear energy also presents a substantial opportunity for low-carbon electricity generation, as observed in countries like France, Belgium, and South Korea. Nuclear energy provides a continuous, reliable supply of electricity, which is crucial for a developing economy. Emulating these countries, the Philippines can increase its low-carbon electricity generation by enhancing its wind energy capacity and potentially exploring nuclear energy options.
Regarding the history of low-carbon electricity in the Philippines, the data suggests that the country has relied significantly on hydropower and geothermal energy. Starting in the mid-1980s, with an increase in hydropower generation, there were several fluctuations marked by periods of increase and decrease. For example, there was an increase in hydropower generation in 1984 and 1988, followed by a decrease in 1991. Similarly, geothermal energy saw a surge in 1998 and 1999 but a decrease in 2001. More recently, in the first two decades of the 21st century, there continues to be a recurring pattern of rise and fall in hydropower generation. Apart from these, the country has also started to tap into solar energy, with the first significant increase observed in 2016. Overall, while the country has made strides in utilizing low-carbon energy sources for electricity generation, more committed efforts are needed for sustainable growth in this direction.