October 27, 2020 Read More →

Philippine government announces moratorium on new coal power plant construction

Philippine Star News:

The Duterte administration will no longer accept proposals to construct new coal power plants, a dramatic shift in energy policy that counts on declining costs of renewables to attract clean power investments.

The moratorium was announced in tandem with the relaxation on foreign ownership limits in geothermal energy projects worth $50 million or more, doubling down on the slow transition to clean power seen as a long-term fix to the Philippines’ supply problems and now even sky-high power costs. 

At the time, coal and other fossil fuels were still deemed cheaper than renewables even though 15.8% of the former were being imported and therefore translated to import costs passed on to consumers. But times have changed and Sara Ahmed, energy finance analyst at Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank, said the government’s energy shift is very timely.

“The costs trajectory and the current costs of renewable energy, per kilowatt energy when generated domestically is getting cheaper than imported coal and imported gas,” Ahmed said in a phone interview.

“The constraints we previously thought we have, we don’t actually have,” she added. 

[Prinz Magtulis]

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