Green energy group bats for changes in power supply bidding rules
MANILA—The Power for People Coalition (P4P) on Monday expressed support for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) call for Meralco to change its rules to give more flexibility for power suppliers bidding for its energy needs.
At the same time, the group pushed for the inclusion of renewable energy (RE) sources in the power distributor’s energy mix.
Meralco is asking for bids for 1,200 megawatts of supply but specified that the electricity must come from the controversial “high efficiency, low emissions” (HELE) technology, which claims to reduce emissions without actually reducing the total pollution caused by the use of coal.
“We welcome the announcement of the DOE calling on Meralco to change its terms of reference for its competitive selection process (CSP). However, we are not happy that the changes asked for will just allow more coal-fired power plants to participate, instead of taking the opportunity to obey President Duterte’s directive to have more renewable sources available to Filipinos,” said P4P Convenor Gerry Arances.
Under the terms, Meralco wants the generation companies to bid for the whole supply requirement using plants with high efficiency, low emission technology, while DOE wants any plant to be able to sell only part of its capacity so that they can sell the surplus on the open market.
“Meralco’s arcane CSP rules are problematic on many different levels. Unfortunately, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi focused only on the aspects of the rules which are of concern to big investors and not those of concern to ordinary people. Even if the DOE’s changes are adopted, electricity will not be affordable, reliable, and sustainable, as what President Duterte wants,” said Arances.
Green energy groups, led by the P4P, have long campaigned against coal, including the ‘clean coal’ technology which Meralco requires for its latest bid offer.
“There is nothing clean about coal. What the so-called ‘clean coal’ does is simply to change what part of the Earth it’s polluting. Instead of the air, it will pollute our ground and waters,” said Arances.
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