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Solar An Alternatives to Philippines Energy Mix, Says Gatchalian

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Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is looking at nuclear and solar energy as an alternative or additional energy source for the Philippines.

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Gatchalian, head of the Senate Energy Committee, stated that he prefers “in principle” smaller nuclear reactors over larger ones for flexibility and safety.

In accordance with him, small nuclear power plants will be more adaptable and secure to use, as their deployment will be made easy and will come with technology to handle nuclear waste.  

He believes that nuclear energy can play a crucial role in the transition towards clean energy, as it is emission-free, but it comes with the danger of storing its waste and if there is a problem, the cost will be prohibitively expensive.

However, smaller nuclear plants are still undergoing the development phase, he remarked in a radio interview on Monday.

Small nuclear reactors, he claims, can provide electricity ranging from 10 to 150 megawatts.

Gatchalian, on the other hand, believes that resuscitating the Bataan nuclear power station would be too hazardous and expensive. The plant was constructed but never fueled.

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He also stated that many are turning to solar energy, with some large corporations erecting solar power facilities.

He brings out that, “Solar deployment is difficult since it is still pretty costly,”.

Gatchalian further stated that he will introduce a bill on energy transition in response to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision last year to prohibit new coal power plants in order to hasten the country’s transition to cleaner energy.

According to him, the shift to clean energy will take ten years or more, and it cannot be rushed since they would eventually be left without an energy supply.

The crucial point is that it is a scientific process to determine how the country can safely, reliably, and securely shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy, he added.

He went on to say that while the country’s energy demands are still met by fossil fuels, for the time being, it is critical to accelerate the transition due to the country’s growing population and industry.

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Gatchalian was in Dagupan City on Sunday to present the Region 1 Medical Center with 5,000 pieces of personal protective equipment and 50 sacks of slippers.

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