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Campaigner projects shift to 50% renewable energy sources in 2030 in PHL

Special on Saturday host Cesar Chavez with guest Khevin Uy, climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace-Philippines

MANILA—Arguing against the use of coal in generating power as ‘dirty’ and expensive, a climate and energy campaigner on Saturday (November 21) projects shift to 50 percent renewable energy sources in the Philippines in 2030, if the government get serious with coal moratorium and focus on the development of renewable energy.

Khevin Uy, climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace-Philippines, in an interview in DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program, revealed that based on their study the country can produce almost the same amount of power generated at present using solar and wind energy sources in the next 10 years.

“Ayon sa aming pag-aaral, meron kaming linabas na score card sa Southeast Asia na kaya ng Pilipinas na mag 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. Ito pong sa ngayong dekada, in the next ten years, dapat iangat nila ang pagpush ng solar and wind. Tapos nakita naming na sa solar kaya ng Pilipinas na 24 gigawatts, that’s almost close sa prino-produce ng Pilipinas ngayon, and then sa wind, halos 3 gigawatts ang kaya nyang ma-meet,” Uy shared.

(According to our study, the scored cared we issued in Southeast Asia, the Philippines can generate 50 percent of the renewable energy by 2030. In the decade, in the next ten years, the solar and wind must be pushed further. Then, we saw that the Philippines ncan generate 24 gigawatts, that’s almost close to what the Philippines is producing now, and then for the wind, almost 3 gigawatts can be met.)

He said the 50 percent target of renewable energy sources is based on international demand of the Paris agreement on climate change wherein the Philippines committed to reduce 70 percent of carbon emission by 2030.

Uy lamented that the Philippine Energy Plan of the Department of Energy (DOE) is lopsided in favor of coal rather than renewable energy sources.

“Unfortunately, lumalabas malaki pa rin ang coal sa energy mix. So, kung hindi ako nagkakamali, dominant pa rin ang coal sa kanilang plano. Pero, ang aming panawagan sa DOE, na meron na silang linabas na moratorium sa mga bagong coal plants, dapat baguhin yon. Dapat maging ambitious ang paggamit ng renewable energy. Ang ibig sabihin noon, ang first step ay di na dapat papayag sa mga bagong coal plants, and I think nagawa yan ng DOE,” he said.

(Unfortunately, it shows that coal is still bigger in the energy mix. So, if I am not mistaken, coal is still dominant in their plan. But, our call to the DOE, now that they already issued the moratorium to new coal plants, this must change it. The use of renewable energy must be made ambitious. What this means, the first step is not to allow new coal plants, and I think the DOE has done this.)

Uy said they wanted to include in the coal moratorium the existing coal plants and those that have already been approved through the process.

He said the Renewable Energy Act, though good in concept and principles and very innovative which the Greenpeace lobbied and supported in 2008, the problem was in the implementation because it further gave space to coal expansion and failed to reflect the renewable energy ambition of the country.

Uy said it made “coal as king” in the energy generation in the Philippines which their group wants to dethrone.

He claimed that a Greenpeace study in February showed that 25,000 people die prematurely from air pollution caused by fossil fuel from coal plants and vehicles.

Uy said the use of coal is a health and an environmental issue.

He admitted that in the 1980s the renewable energy technology has been more expensive than the technology of coal plants that he said had already been reduced to an average of P2.9 per kilowatt hour compared to the present power price from coal plants of P3.9-P5 per kilowatt hour.

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