DOE: Coal plant moratorium to stay

DOE coal

The moratorium on building new coal-fired power plants in the country will remain under the Marcos Administration, Energy secretary Raphael Lotilla said. 

Lotilla said that changing the policies would only send mixed signals to investors, adding that market behavior is not favoring the construction of new coal plants. 

The moratorium on the construction of new coal power plants was issued back in October 2020 under former Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi. 

The energy secretary added that while it is important that the country needs all power available sources now, “we should not proceed to kill any of them because we need all of them at that time when there’s a shortage, but there should be a managed, orderly transition.” Lotilla added that changing policies issued by the previous adminstrations can also lure away investors. 

The DOE is spearheading the country’s “energy transition agenda” that looks to accelerate the capital flow in the renewable energy sector. 

Under the country’s current on-grid power generation mix, coal accounts for 58% of the mix, followed by renewable energy at 22%, gas at 18% and oil at two percent. Under the National Renewable Energy Program 2020-2040, the country is looking to achieve a 35% renewable energy share in the mix by 2030, and 50% by 2040. 

Coal prices in the international market are now above the $400 per metric ton mark. Indonesia, the world’s largest thermal coal supplier, imposed a temporary export ban at the beginning of the year.