WWF urges government: Go for clean energyPhilippine Daily Inquirer
The government should stop relying on “quick fixes” and open the door to clean and cheap renewable energy sources as it grapples anew with rotating brownouts, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said over the weekend.
The WWF noted that in the last 10 years that the country has faced a power crisis the government had resorted to cheap fossil fuel alternatives such as coal for a quick fix rather than “leapfrogging to quickly maturing renewable energy options.”
In the face of expected rotating brownouts in Luzon, the WWF said the real solution “lies in renewable, clean and cheap energy sources.”
“Unfortunately, the decision-making process necessary to open the door to a renewable energy future seems locked in a stalemate,” it said.
Luzon, including Metro Manila, was hit by rotating brownouts early this month after three of the island’s major power plants broke down.
The WWF said the best way to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy and to deal with energy insecurity was to boost the country’s power mix with more indigenous and renewable technologies, as “a buffer” against climate change and volatile fossil fuel prices.
“The acquisition cost of coal might seem cheap now, but if one were to add the environmental and health costs of coal, plus the increasing vulnerability of seaborne cargo due to climate impacts, the total cost of this decision will be more expensive than renewable energy,” WWF-Philippines vice chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said.
Citing studies by the International Energy Agency, he said the cost of coal would steadily rise in the next two decades.
Tan said that shifting to geothermal, wind, solar and other renewable power sources would insulate Filipino consumers from the rising prices of oil and coal, boost the country’s energy independence and reduce carbon emissions.
“Previously more expensive geothermal and biomass power are now competitive with coal in terms of generation cost, with wind and solar expected to reach grid parity within the decade,” he said. TJ Burgonio