Energy group supports ban on new coal plants
On Tuesday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi declared a moratorium on the endorsement of new greenfield coal power plants as the country eyes a more flexible power supply mix to accommodate more renewable energy sources.
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Energy group supports ban on new coal plants
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) has welcomed the moratorium on the endorsement of new greenfield coal power plants, but urged for the further phase-out of coal plants in the country to be able to provide cleaner energy sources.

On Tuesday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi declared a moratorium on the endorsement of new greenfield coal power plants as the country eyes a more flexible power supply mix to accommodate more renewable energy (RE) sources.

CEED said the ban is long overdue and would block off at least 10.7 gigawatts (GW) of coal in the pipeline. The group said the move can be the gateway for a future where all Filipinos are given access to clean and affordable energy.

“However, the DOE cannot not stop here. If it is to make up for the years it stood by its so-called ‘technology-neutral’ policy, it has to follow up with phase-out plans for the currently installed 9.8 GW of coal in the country,”CEED said.

“Without this, the suffering of coal-affected communities, soaring electricity prices, and fossil fuel pollution would continue to proliferate,” it said.

Data from the DOE show that in 2019, coal accounted for 54.6 percent of the country’s power generation mix. This was followed by natural gas with a 21.1 percent share.

Renewable energy sources geothermal and hydro accounted for 10.1 percent and 7.6 percent share, respectively, while other RE accounted for 3.1 percent.

Oil had the smallest share at 3.5 percent.

Meanwhile, consumer group Power for People coalition (P4P) said it also welcomes the move, but has reservations on how it would affect power rates as the country seeks to recover from the coal pandemic.

“The long-term benefits of coal would be complemented by decisive action on the part of the government to also address the short-term effects of the bill shock which happened during the enhanced community quarantine period. Only with concrete action on both the short-term and long-term can the DOE begin to truly say it is “prosumer”,” the group said.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said it fully supports the moratorium imposed by the DOE as it works toward enabling competition in the energy sector and provides reliable and cost effective power, while giving preference to indigenous and clean energy sources.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the risks of overdependence on inflexible baseload plants, mainly coal, as well as the need for the country’s transition to a modern, flexible power system utilizing renewable energy with near zero marginal cost,” ICSC senior policy advisor Pedro Maniego Jr.

COAL PLANTS RENEWABLE ENERGY
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