Palace defends coal-fired power plants
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - January 9, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Amid environmental concerns, Malacañang defended yesterday the inclusion of coal-fired power plants in the government’s program, noting these would ensure a sufficient and stable supply of energy in the country.

President Aquino on Friday led the inauguration of a 300-megawatt base load plant in Davao, the first to be completed in Mindanao since 2007.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Undersecretary Manuel  Quezon III said the President explained in his speech that there might have been confusion in the country’s use of coal-fired power plants.

Quezon said the concept of a base load was to have a foundation or basic source of electricity anytime of the day, particularly during peak hours and bad weather.

A base load power plant provides continuous supply of electricity throughout the year with a minimum power generation requirement. It will only be turned off during the conduct of periodic maintenance, upgrading and overhaul.

Quezon said when the President attended the climate summit in France last month, he asked for technology transfer and funding so countries that are vulnerable to climate change like the Philippines could develop clean energy and become more resilient.

In his speech, Aquino said the government had not forgotten its goals to develop renewable energy and is doing its part to mitigate climate risk.

“We have increased our usage of renewables and they now make up 33 percent of our energy mix. We have reduced the number of illegal logging hotspots by 88 percent and in 2011, we started the National Greening Program, which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees on 1.5 million hectares by this year,” Aquino said.

He said the government did all these even as the country’s carbon emissions are minimal compared to industrialized countries.

He said the country needs more base load power plants to address the power problem especially in Mindanao.

Aquino said once fully operational, the new Davao plant would address the power problem in the region.

ACIRC AQUINO ATILDE DAVAO MALACA MINDANAO NATIONAL GREENING PROGRAM POWER PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT AND STRATEGIC PLANNING OFFICE UNDERSECRETARY MANUEL QUEZON
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