Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aquino dared to push clean energy

WITH the Philippines’ vast potential to produce clean and renewable energy, it can produce clean energy that will meet half of the country’s projected energy requirement in the next 10 years, the environmental group Greenpeace said on Wednesday.

In a news conference in Quezon City, Jasper Inventor, climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace International, said even at a 5 percent to 6 percent annual growth, by 2020, the country should be able to produce enough energy by tapping the still-untapped renewable-energy sources such as wind and solar power.

Citing data from the Department of Energy, Greenpeace said in a statement that the country’s total wind-power potential is at 70,000 megaWatts (mW) and solar-power potential is at 5.1 kiloWatt-hours per square meter.

Greenpeace’s report titled “Energy [R]evolution” mapped out a scenario, wherein the contry can source 50 percent or half of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. This includes 8,000 mW from wind power and 1,000 mW from solar power.

Currently, the country’s installed capacity from wind and solar power is 33 mW and 1 mW per square meter, respectively.

Inventor said President Aquino can make it happen by exercising political will and taking the lead in promoting investments in renewable-energy sources over coal-fired power plants.

The challenge was issued by Greenpeace as it intensified its campaign against coal, with the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior’s arrival in the Philippines on November 19 for its “Turn the Tide Tour of Southeast Asia.”

The Rainbow Warrior will dock at Makar Wharf in General Santos City in Mindanao. Its visit also marks Greenpeace’s 10 years’ work in Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace urged Mr. Aquino to board the Rainbow Warrior when it docks in Manila from November 27 to 29 and asked him to make a strong commitment for the achievement of 50-percent renewable energy by 2020.

Greenpeace is promoting clean, renewable energy and nixes the construction of more coal-fired power plants to meet the global energy demand.

In the Philippines, Greenpeace is focusing in Mindanao, where the energy demand is big and investment for coal-fired power plants is currently pouring.

Currently, the Philippines’ installed capacity is 16,000 mW— from coal-fired power plants and fuel-based power generators. 

Inventor said Mr. Aquino should start by putting in place the implementing rules for the renewable-energy law which was signed by his predecessor, former President Gloria Arroyo, on December 16, 2008.

“Once the implementing rules for the renewable-energy law are in place, investors will start to come in,” Inventor told the BusinessMirror.

He said recent talks with Steve Sawyer, secretary-general of the Global Wind Energy Council, confirmed that private investors are just waiting for the government to put in place a mechanism and investment on renewable energy will start pouring in.      

Mark Dia, country representative of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, challenged President Aquino to make a commitment to a green development pathway.

He said a massive uptake of renewable energy, decentralized smart energy grids and energy efficiency technologies, are keys to mitigating climate change, and the humanitarian crises brought about by its catastrophic impacts.

Dia said the conditions in the Philippines make it a clear leader in such an undertaking, with the landmark Renewable Energy Act, and with readily available renewable-energy sources.

“The only obstacles are aggressive lobby efforts by dirty coal-power producers, and the lack of political will to challenge the status quo,” he said.

“Opting for the Energy [R]evolution pathway can be ’Noy’s contribution to the continuing legacy of the Aquino family in bringing about peaceful, sustainable power to the people,” he said.


Post a Comment