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Shift to renewable energy and avert power crisis, gov’t urged

/ 05:02 AM June 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The government should no longer tarry and transition now to renewable energy sources to avoid a looming power crisis, an energy and environment group said on Wednesday.

The Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) warned that the country’s overdependence on coal-fired power plants and on old and dirty technology may soon plunge many areas into darkness.

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On Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) again placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert after the area’s power reserve — the difference between supply and demand — dipped below the required level.

Forced outages

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Aside from rising consumer demand, unplanned or forced outages at power plants previously prompted the NGCP to raise alerts.

Gerry Arances, CEED executive director, said the recurring power shortages highlighted the low efficiency of old coal-fired power plants in meeting supply demands.

“Coal-fired power plants are not designed for ramping up and down… This will cause problems in efficiency,” he told the Inquirer in an interview.

The country relies heavily on fossil fuels, primarily coal, to supply power, he said.

Renewable Energy Act

This has remained the case despite the decade-old Renewable Energy Act, which calls for a shift to cleaner energy sources such as wind and solar, and the clamor from environment groups to ditch coal, a dirty and costly source of energy.

Advocates of renewable energy also say that the price of renewable energy sources has gone down in recent years, resulting in lower power bills.

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According to Greenpeace Philippines, the latest power supply agreement between a solar company and a power distribution company placed the cost of solar at P2.99 per kilowatt hour, the cheapest in the market.

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TAGS: CEED, coal-fired plants, Power crisis, renewable energy
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