28 October 2020 — The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities applauds and fully supports Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s announcement yesterday of a moratorium on new coal plants.
Atty. Pedro H. Maniego Jr., senior policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, chairman of the Energy Lawyers Association of the Philippines, and former chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board, stated:
“By declaring a moratorium on new coal plants, Secretary Cusi is adhering to DOE’s mandate to enable competition in the energy sector and provide reliable and cost effective power, while giving preference to indigenous and clean energy sources. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the risks of over-dependence on inflexible base-load plants mainly coal, as well as the need for the country’s transition to a modern, flexible power system utilizing renewable energy with near zero marginal cost.”
“Secretary Cusi’s initiative is in line with recent announcements of carbon neutrality from Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and many other government leaders. It complements Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno’s signing of the Sustainable Finance Framework, which safeguards the financial system from evolving transition risks including stranded coal assets, and promotes low-carbon opportunities.
“We also agree with Secretary Cusi’s move to allow full foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal projects. The Philippines must compete strongly with its ASEAN neighbors in attracting foreign direct investments in renewable energy. By harnessing our indigenous RE resources, the country could attain the twin goals of economic development and lower greenhouse gas emissions. No less than the International Energy Agency has declared that ‘solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen.’ It is high time that the DOE fast-tracks the removal of the 60/40 equity requirement by amending the implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act.”
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