Three presidential candidates said they will prioritize different renewable energy (RE) sources to help mitigate the global climate crisis, if they win the elections on May 9.
At the second presidential debate hosted by the Commission on Elections on Sunday night, Vice President Leni Robredo said that she would prioritize liquefied natural gas (LNG) and emphasized that the country needs to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
“It is really clear that we need to be carbon-neutral, so we need to prepare how to transition from being fossil fuel-dependent. What the experts suggest is using liquefied natural gas,” Robredo said.
Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) shows that natural gas accounted for 19% of the country’s energy mix in 2020.
Meanwhile, labor leader Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman stressed the need of reducing the use of coal-fired power plants and reiterated the need for green energy adoption under Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, for his part, said he would focus on solar energy, citing the agrivoltaic system in Germany and the Netherlands, wherein land areas are used in both agricultural production and power generation.
“This is adaptable within the geography of our country because we are a tropical country. We have so much sun and we can harness the power of the sun to produce energy,” Moreno said.
Clean energy and consumer rights group Power for People Coalition (P4P) has called out the presidential candidates to create greater ambitions for renewable energy developments to ensure stable, affordable, and reliable power in the country.
“It is concerning that our presidentiables are entertaining false solutions, even as our vast RE potential looks them in the face. VP Robredo and Mayor Moreno have been vocal about using fossil gas and LNG as a bridge fuel and stabilizer for the energy sector – we remind them that gas is still a fossil fuel and that any new fossil fuel facility means we are displacing RE and tying ourselves to decades more of dirty energy,” P4P convenor Gerry Arances said in a statement.
P4P added that the candidates should consider RE not only in addressing environmental and climate concerns but also with the soaring energy prices.
(Photos from PiliPinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point)