Negros seen leading Philippines power transformation
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Negros Islands is being groomed to serve as a starting point for the transformation of the country’s power sector amid a worsening climate crisis.

Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) Research, Policy and Law head Avril De Torres said the vision of a 100 percent renewable energy-powered Negros was possible.

“The combination of local policies favoring renewables, upcoming expiration of coal power supply agreements, a diverse renewable energy installed capacity mix and potential, and a strong movement supporting renewable energy development make Negros Island a hope spot for the first power transformation in the country,” de Torres said.

However, this would require Negros to address existing contradictions that allow coal and other fossil fuels to maintain a foothold on the island.

Combined, Negros Occidental and Oriental boast of a 95 percent renewable energy share in their installed capacity mix, but the people are unable to benefit from the cheap and clean electricity that the island produces. As much as 80 percent of the power it contracts is largely from coal and fossil fuel plants outside Negros.

“With this study, we hope to contribute to the power transformation of Negros by empowering the people to take an active role in ensuring that local energy planning and implementation is sustainable and democratic,” de Torres said.

Youth for Climate Hope lead convenor Krishna Ariola said the shift to renewables in Negros is not only possible, but an inevitable reality as local communities are supportive and there are no technological nor financial barriers that cannot be overcome if political and financial interests of those in power would truly align with the people’s demands.

“The unextinguished possibility of the renewal of expiring contracts with coal plants outside of Negros is but one proof of resistance by leaders and power players against true sustainable development. We believe it is high time they listen to climate science and prioritize the lives of people over profit, especially amidst a crisis that a vaccine cannot fix,” Ariola said.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with