December 1, 2017 Read More →

Consumers Paying a High Price for Poor Energy Policy

ABS-CBN News:

The Philippines pays among the highest electricity prices in ASEAN. This heavy cost burden is holding back economic modernization, limiting overall competitiveness, worsening the current account deficit, and undermining the ability of the Philippine economy to attract foreign direct investments.

And as for the consumer, the impact comes in the form of the large energy bills.

Perhaps worst of all, the high cost is unnecessary.

Certainly, the geography of the country poses a challenge, but one of the key reason prices are so high is because the country’s continued dependence on imported coal and oil, instead of developing its own domestic renewable energy supply and natural gas.

Perhaps a decade or so ago, there was an argument to be made that in terms of cost the Philippines has little choice but to import coal and diesel.

But latest research by top industry analyst Lazard shows it is more expensive to operate conventional fossil fuel energy sources in developing countries like the Philippines than developed countries.

Coal and diesel are no longer the cheap option. In fact, coal price has literally doubled over the past year, meaning today we are paying almost US$100 per ton compared to a low of just US$50 in 2016. This unforeseen shift could result in the Philippines’ current account deficit increasing by US$1.75 billion per year by 2021.

And while the price of coal is rising, that of solar and wind power in particular have dropped to the cheapest electricity generation sources.

Consumers paying a high price for poor energy policy

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