AKO BICOL Partylist Representative Christopher Co, chair of the House Committee on Climate Change, called for an investigation into what a new civil society report calls the “losing gamble” on existing and future coal plants in the Philippines.
“Renewable energy is the win-win solution for the people and the climate, and this report just further confirms this. I and the rest of the Special Committee on Climate Change will ensure that Filipinos will benefit from RE and not be shortchanged by coal,” said Rep. Co, citing “Carving out Coal in the Philippines: Stranded Coal Plant Assets and the Energy Transition.”
The report, launched last Thursday by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), factors the “imminent stranding” of P1 trillion worth of coal plant projects to retail competition leveling the playing field for affordable power, liquefied natural gas (LNG) encroaching into baseload supply, and RE becoming cheaper and more reliable.
Rep. Co urged the rebuffing of the Power Supply Agreements of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for the seven coal-fired power plants filed at the Energy Regulatory Commission. The utilization of a cleaner energy supply such as liquified natural gas and Renewable energy would pave way for as much as 40 percent of savings in energy production.
Solar power plants are reported to have as much as 5,000 MW output of power generation, in which its utilization would lead to the lowering the consumer rates inasmuch as 40 percent, with P2.50 per kWh compared to the current production at P4 per kWh.
Rep. Co maintains that the Energy Regulatory Commission should conduct a rebidding on the power supply agreements to ensure that the partnerships for energy generation would produce the greatest outcome for the consumers who are paying for the energy.
“The Philippines must continue to be a leading voice for vulnerable countries and commit to an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, so we can give our country a fighting chance at survival. A big part of our fair share of climate action is the removal of all coal plants in the pipeline and the transition to low carbon development,” said Rep. Co, who will be part of the Philippine delegation to next month’s United Nations climate conference in Germany.
“The transition towards cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy is a top priority of the Duterte administration, as can be seen with the ongoing national energy policy review. The president himself signed the Paris Agreement and has reiterated the need to develop the country’s renewable energy industry,” he added.