Coal still main energy source for next 20 years, AC Energy official says


Coal will remain to be the country’s main source of base – load energy come the next twenty years, an AC Energy Holdings Inc. official said.

“We won’t veer away from coal,” AC Energy President Eric Francia said, sharing the same sentiments with others that coal – fired power plants are still the cheapest and most dependable source of energy in the country despite environmental concerns that go along with it.

“We believe Renewable Energy (RE) has a strong potential. That’s the future, no doubt. But for a country like the Philippines, we don’t have the benefit of indigenous natural gas, other than Malampaya, which is ending its life term,” Francia added.

Coal and RE “will coexist, at least for the next decade,” he added.

Data from the Department of Energy showed that 44 percent of the country’s electricity production comes from coal, while RE supplied 25 percent. 70 percent of the 47 identified new power plant projects are coal based.

“In terms of electricity production, we have noticed a high dependency on coal, recorded at 44 percent as of March 2016,” DOE said.

Mixed Signals

The AC energy official also called on the DOE to clarify its position on the country’s energy mix, especially the role of coal – sourced energy.

“We are definitely getting mixed signals from different parts of the government,” Francia said. He said that a clear policy on the energy mix will guide the investors in determining the kind of power plants to be built in the future.

“That needs to be spelled out with reality in mind,” Francia said. “When you say energy mix, it must also spell out the implications. Ano ba talaga ang technology, role, and framework so that we will be properly guided?”

An energy mix policy is currently being finished by the DOE, after President Duterte’s statement that the administration will not honor the Paris Agreement on Climate Change signed December 2015.