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Moratorium on new coal plants backed

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The Department of Energy (DoE) said the moratorium on the new construction of coal power plants will strengthen the country’s position to mitigate climate change.

During the last leg of the Pre-SoNA forum, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said his agency is doing its share to contribute to reducing carbon emission by increasing our share of renewable sources of energy.

“But more than that, the position of DoE has been on climate justice. We have been asking the Climate Change Commission, considering that the country is a victim, rather than the initiator of all these calamities happening to us, such as typhoons that are hitting us,” Cusi said.

The DoE completed the mechanisms under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which are aimed at facilitating greater private sector investments in renewables.

It includes the participation of electricity consumers in renewable energy (RE) development, enabling them to produce their own electricity requirements or to choose RE as their chosen supplier.

RE development measures include the Renewable Portfolio Standards policy, Green Energy Option Program policy, and Enhanced Net-Metering System, among others, which are geared towards achieving a 35 percent RE share by the year 2030.

“What we are doing is that aside from solar, wind, and tidal, we are expanding our hydro and geothermal.”

In fact, geothermal used to be limited only to the Filipinos, we have opened it 100 percent, through Financial and Technical Assistance projects, to the foreigners so that we can expand and we can expedite the development of our energy sources, Secretary Cusi said.

Alongside geothermal, the DoE is introducing Waste-to-Energy (WTE) development as it is not only for power generation but to address solid waste management. The DoE is currently developing a policy providing WTE the needed support.

It can be recalled that in 2018, during the pending of the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) before the Supreme Court, Secretary Cusi issued the 2018 CSP policy in order to guide the power industry players on how to procure the power “in the least cost manner”.

The Supreme Court later issued its decisions practically telling the power industry players to follow the 2018 Cusi Policy.

To augment the 2018 policy addressing the additional policy required, the following were also issued, including the 2019 policy for 100 percent Ancillary Services Contracting; 2020 policy for the transparent Grid Operations and Maintenance Program to address the synchronized scheduling of preventive maintenance of the power plants and the transmission network.

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