Industry weighs in on coal moratorium

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    Industry stakeholders and environmental groups said the Department of Energy’s (DOE) moratorium on endorsements for greenfield coal power plants is beneficial for the country.

    Aboitiz Power Corp. said the policy will help the Philippine energy system to be more flexible, resilient and sustainable.

    Aboitiz Power said its growth strategy for the next 10 years , which is to significantly grow its renewable energy portfolio, remains unchanged.

    “Our diversification into thermal technologies was primarily driven by the country’s need for a reliable, accessible, and affordable power supply. Having the right balance of various energy sources is key to addressing the energy trilemma of energy security, energy equity, and environmental sustainability…,” the company said.

    Pedro Maniego Jr., senior policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and chairman of the Energy Lawyers Association of the Philippines, said the DOE’s initiative is in line with recent announcements of government leaders for carbon neutrality.

    Maniego said the pronouncement also coincides with the signing by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas of a framework that safeguards the financial system from evolving transition risks including stranded coal assets and low-carbon opportunities.

    Maniego also expressed support for the DOE’s move to allow full foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal projects, citing this will make the Philippines competitive in attracting foreign direct investments in renewable energy.

    The Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development said the DOE’s move is a “long overdue pronouncement.”