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Eco groups: Use renewable energy to address Palawan’s power woes

/ 05:00 AM September 05, 2019

An environmental group has called for the proper implementation of the Palawan Island Power Development Plan to address Palawan’s power woes through renewable energy.

The call of Environmental Legal Assistance Center (Elac) came amid the green groups’ continued resistance to the proposed 15-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Narra town, which many considered an economic and environmental threat to the province.

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“Palawan does not have an issue with power supply; our issue is with power distribution,” Elac executive director Gerthie Mayo-Anda said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Palawan crafted the power development plan in 2014 through participative planning involving local governments and civil society organizations, becoming the first province to do so.

The 20-year plan points to renewable energy as the cheapest source of power for Palawan. It identifies potential run-of-the-river hydro projects as well as solar and wind energy to power the province that has been suffering from blackouts.

Both green groups and residents were caught off-guard by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR)  issuance of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to the DMCI Power Corp.-backed project in June.

Groups, including the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Greenpeace, and the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development, had warned that the coal project would plunge the country deeper into a climate crisis.

Anda said the coal project is seen to benefit the nearby nickel mining operations also under DMCI, not Palaweños.

“We call on the DENR to revoke the ECC,” Anda said.

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TAGS: Palawan Island Power Development Plans, Palawan power supply, renewable energy
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