Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Alflonso Cusi has called on investors to consider both conventional and renewable energy sources in addressing the country’s socio-economic needs.
In an article published by the South China Morning Post, Cusi said that a technology-neutral approach is needed for the Philippines in finding a balance between the environmental mandate and socio-economic progress.
“Technology-neutral means that we shouldn’t be constrained by rigid or arbitrary targets in sourcing our energy. Both conventional and non-conventional sources must be considered, but this shouldn’t be equated with abandoning climate action,” Cusi said.
The energy chief added that conventional energy sources – like coal-fired power plants- can be made more sustainable. He cited the Shanghai Waigaogiao NO. 3 power plant in Shanghai, China that houses 2×1000 ME supercritical coal-fired power plants that use 230,000 tons less standard coal and emit 480,000 fewer tons of CO2 yearly.
He said that the country is trying to replicate the approach of China, India, and Japan.
However, Cusi said that renewable energy remains unaffordable for developing countries like the Philippines, compared to conventional energy sources.
He added that the “inherent intermittent” nature of RE sources creates risks of power outages that hinders progress and turns off investors.
“In Asia where one in seven persons lack access to basic electricity, the balance between promoting socio-economic growth and combating climate change is an extremely fine one for governments,” Cusi said.
The energy chief added that one way to reduce poverty and encourage investments while allowing further economic growth is to prioritize reliable and affordable power.