Press Release
April 21, 2016


Sen. Grace Poe said the government should put a cap on energy sourced from coal-fired power plants to direct the county's energy development towards renewable energy sources.

Poe, who cited the development of renewable energy sources in her 20-point priority agenda, said the Philippines should start to focus on tapping cleaner and more sustainable energy sources.

"We will put a cap on coal in our energy mix. Such mix will be determined through consultations, taking into account our commitment to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement," the independent presidential candidate said.

The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the Philippines will need 13,167 megawatts of additional power capacity by 2030. Of this, 8,548 MW are expected to be generated by baseload power plants or facilities that produce energy at a constant rate to meet the continuous energy demand.

Coal-fired power plants are the dominant energy producing technology in the country today because it is deemed cheaper and easier to build. There are 23 coal-fired power plants in the Philippines providing 5,632 megawatts of power or 34.2 percent of dependable power capacity as of December 2015.

However, the cost of building coal plants does not consider the external costs of coal such as pollution and health impacts, the World Bank said, and if these were taken into account, coal would be among the most expensive forms of power generation.

"'Yung coal, siyempre, alam natin may mga environmental impacts 'yon. Ako, 'pag ako'y naging pangulo, talagang prayoridad ko 'yung clean and alternative sources of energy," Poe told media in an interview in Iligan City, Wednesday night.

Poe noted that the total committed and indicative coal-fired power plants built between 2012 and 2030 can already deliver 11,992 megawatts, exceeding the country's baseload capacity requirement of 8,400 MW, as indicated in the Philippine Energy Plan.

"Ang importante magkaroon tayo ng mas maraming supply ng kuryente at sana patungo na rin sa renewable energy. 'Yan ang dapat agenda ng bagong pangulo," she said.

Along with developing renewable energy sources, Poe said she wants to make sure that power becomes more affordable to Filipinos, who are paying one of the highest electricity rates in the world.

To do this, the DOE should create an environment that would open up the energy market to more players. Setting up one-stop shops to facilitate the process of doing business for investors, especially those involved in renewable energy, would help, Poe said.

"Kung maraming supply, mas mababa ang singil. Kaya sisiguraduhin ko na maraming supply para hindi tayo nagbabayad ng napakataas para sa kuryente," said the senator.

The Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in Asia. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, electricity accounted for 4.5 percent of a Filipino household's expenditures in 2012.

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