PNoy: Philippines cannot totally rid of coal-fired sources
Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - January 10, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III claimed that the Philippines cannot stop completely from relying on coal, which is a more reliable source of power despite its environmental issues.

“After all, while I am a believer in developing renewable, at this point we are still hounded by the questions: What if there’s no wind? What if clouds are overcast and the solar efficiency is down? What if we do not have enough biomass?” Aquino said in his speech at the inauguration of the 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant of Aboitiz Power in Davao City last Friday.

“Unfortunately, right now, we cannot wean ourselves completely from relying on coal,” Aquino added.

Aquino, however, pointed out this does not mean the country has forgotten its goals in developing renewable energy and mitigating the impact of climate change.

“In fact, 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 a National Greening Program, the goal of which is to plant 1.5 billion trees on 1.5 million hectares by this year. We did all this even if our nation’s carbon emissions are minimal especially compared to more industrialized countries,” the President said.

For instance, Aquino cited that hydro power plants, once abundant sources of energy, have now suffered from a number of factors such as lack of regular maintenance, vanishing watersheds and impact of climate change particularly El Niño.

AboitizPower Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz said while sourcing power from coal-fired plants to maintain balanced energy mix is still needed, renewable energy will and should continue to contribute a significant share of the power supply.

He said having a balanced mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources is aimed at providing reliable and ample power supply.

The company’s Davao baseload plant is not dependent on weather conditions and is able to generate much needed power even during dry spells caused by El Niño.

The listed power firm is also building a 340-MW coal-fired baseload power plant in Toledo City, Cebu, which is bigger than its Davao plant. (FREEMAN)

ABOITIZ POWER ACIRC AQUINO ATILDE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER ERRAMON I DAVAO DAVAO CITY EL NI NATIONAL GREENING PROGRAM POWER PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO
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