Solon urges government to add options for underground cables to avoid power outages in disasters

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A party list representative urges the government to include underground cables as part of its disaster resilience plan, to avoid massive power cuts during disasters such as Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai).

Bagong Henerasyon representative Bernadette R. Herrera-Dy calls on energy agencies and private sectors to join forces to establish underground power cables and scalable power generation for remote areas, coastal towns and cities. upland communities.

“As far as I know, they (private energy companies) are considering this direction,” Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr., deputy secretary of the Department of Energy, told BusinessWorld in a text message.

Ms Herrera, who was one of the main authors of HB 5845, also known as the Nationwide Cable System Act, proposed investing in energy resilience and raising funds from bonds issued to investors. She estimates that the initial funding would amount to 25 billion pesos per year for about 20 years.

The Nationwide Underground Cable System Act requires companies that use wires, including those that provide electricity, Internet services, telephones, and cables to the public, to move their wires underground within 10 years of being put into operation. work. The measure is still pending with the Information and Communications Technologies Committee since 2019.

The MP noted that having multi-phased programs would make it easier to make huge energy investments. Areas often hit by disasters should be prioritized and later phases could include locations surrounding these areas. She suggested that in a few months, a feasibility and sustainability study could be carried out in these locations. Research funding could come from technology grants from other countries.

“A more expensive investment equals a higher cost of electricity,” Erguiza said. “A balance is needed in the circumstances.” – Jaspearl Emeraude G. Tan

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