Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
A World Energy Council index that assesses countries based on energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability in energy resources showed the Philippines leading the world in the latter criteria.
These three criteria make up what the United Nations-accredited WEC calls a “trilemma” which is the basis for prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries.
In the recently released World Energy Trilemma Index 2017 of the WEC which covers 125 countries, the Philippines was ranked 70 th overall, ranking 63 rd in the subindex of energy security and 95 th in energy equity. Our country led the way when it came to environmental sustainability.
Nine of the top 10 countries in the index are European, with only New Zealand being the exception at ninth. The WEC said complex trade-offs that were inherent in energy policymaking and geographic limitations made it difficult to achieve a balance among the three criteria. Countries that ranked high in one criteria can have difficulty with other criteria which can ultimately lead to a lower ranking.
The WEC said that the top 10 in environmental sustainability is dominated by states that are able to take advantage of their renewable energy potential such as Iceland, the Philippines and Costa Rica who have high geothermal or hydropower capacities. The main challenge for these countries is avoiding over-reliance on one single or weather dependent energy resources which could potentially hamper the resilience of the energy system and with that energy security.
The Philippines has opportunities to improve energy access rates and energy equity performance if it takes advantage of transition trends such as decentralization, the WEC report noted.
The report gives us hope that there is room and opportunity for improvement for our country that has one of the highest energy rates in the region. Our top rank in environmentally sustainable energy means if we can harness that energy in a sustainable manner and our government can focus improving our weaknesses in energy security and equity, the Philippines has a good chance of solving the perennial energy problem that has been responsible for holding back progress.*