Energy mix stays despite Paris pact

by Alena Mae S. Flores –  March 05, 2017 at 08:35 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department said the proposed energy mix until 2030 will remain the same even after the Philippines signed the Paris Agreement on climate change last week.

“It won’t (change the mix). Our concurrence is with condition that we won’t sacrifice our energy source to meet the country’s demand,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said over the weekend.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella also said “with the signing of the Paris agreement, the mix will remain the same.”

The Duterte administration’s energy mix comprise of 70 percent baseload power, or power plants that are able to run 24 hours, 20 percent mid merit and 10 percent peaking plant, or those plants that can run during peak hours.

“The DoE sees the mix as technology neutral because it looks into the capability of the plants to respond to the load curve of the users,” Fuentebella said.

He said Cusi looked at the mix fro the consumers’ point of view.

“Hence, the load curve is the basis for the country’s need for 70 percent baseload, 20 percent mid merit and 10 percent peaking plants,” Fuentebella said.

Cusi said earlier baseload power plants would serve as the foundation of the economy.

“If your baseload is not efficient, then you will have an intermittent supply. So we need to have a strong baseload so you can prepare for industrialization,” he said.

“We are also in a situation that our energy supply is not that sufficient. We are still having an intermittent supply. We are experiencing, yellow, red, brownout. We don’t like that so DoE is saying we want power… as long as it is meeting the standard that is required by us,” Cusi said.

The energy chief said the department also scrapped the previous planned energy mix of 30 percent coal, 30 percent gas, 30 percent renewables and 10 percent other sources.

Cusi said he would not put a cap on the the use of coal and give a quota for gas technology or vice versa.

“There is an energy mix. It has always been there… We want it to be competitive so we don’t want a quota… We want an energy mix where there will be competition so coal, gas, geothermal, hydro or nuclear can compete in that 70 percent baseload,” the official said.

The Climate Change Commission announced last week that the accession to the agreement follows the concurrence from 33 government agencies that are members of the Climate Change Commission Advisory Board.

Secretary and Vice Chairperson Vernice Victorio said last week the Commission and its advisory board  shared the President’s prioritization of climate justice and sustainable development. The government is confident the Paris Agreement will allow the Philippines to push for stronger compliance and transparency in the support provided by developed countries for climate action.

“As one of the most vulnerable developing countries to climate change, it is important that we remain a strong voice and advocate of principles of historical responsibility and common but differentiated responsibilities,” Victorio said.