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Renewable energy gov’t goal–Alvarez

/ 04:24 AM August 05, 2013

Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez: Two-track program.

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino supports renewable energy sources but current economic limitations dictate the continued pursuit of coal-based energy, according to the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

Reacting to environmental group Greenpeace’s statement calling the administration’s seeming preference for coal-driven energy “alarming,” Commissioner Heherson Alvarez of the CCC said that developing clean energy sources remained the administration’s goal.

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President Aquino’s two-track energy program consists of using coal-based as well as renewable energy sources, he said.

“Far from neglecting renewable energy sources, the President has significantly advanced the country’s clean and sustainable energy program,” Alvarez said in a statement.

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“While our power plant base loads are still reliant on hydrocarbons, renewable energy in the country’s diversified energy mix is registering a significant and growing share,” he noted.

But since technology for alternative energy “cannot yet compete with fossil fuel prices,” reality dictates a measured shift to renewable energy. Otherwise, the country’s economy would definitely suffer a setback, Alvarez said.

“Economic realities dictate the expedient use of hydrocarbons for power generation as the Philippines strives for stability and growth,” he added.

In his recent State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Aquino said he supported the development of alternative energy sources but lamented the protests against building power plants and in favor of investing in renewable energy sources.

“Did they say that it is more expensive to construct and it will therefore increase the power rate?” he had asked.

In its statement, Greenpeace said it was “gravely disappointed” in the President’s “contradictory statements” and “excuses for not investing in renewable energy sources.”—Nastasha Verayo

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TAGS: Climate Change Commission, Energy, Environmental Issues, Government, Heherson Alvarez, renewable energy
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