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Legarda Welcomes Launching of Nat’l Renewable Energy Program; Stresses Need for RE Scorecard

June 16, 2011

SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA WELCOMED THE LAUNCHING OF THE NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY PROGRAM (NREP), CITING THE CRUCIAL ROLE PLAYED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY DURING THE POWER CRISIS IN THE 1990S.
“It is about time we take a consistent and deliberate effort to develop our own energy resources in ways that we can guarantee to future generations of Filipinos a legacy of clean, reliable, and affordable energy,” Legarda said.
The Senator noted that geothermal energy and hydropower helped augment the country’s power requirements when the country’s energy sector was at a critical period in the 1990s.
“The NREP sets the country’s aspirational target of nearly tripling our RE capacities by 2030, but the bigger job of making sure that this is done in ways that will ensure reliable and affordable power to our consumers has just started,” she stressed.
In welcoming the NREP, Legarda also emphasized the need to develop a renewable energy scorecard that will keep tab of developments in the RE sector and provide assurances to the general public that fair pricing for renewable energy will be observed.
She explained that some quarters have expressed concerns that the development and deployment of new RE technologies, particularly solar, biomass, and wind, will impact upon the cost of electricity given the application of feed-in-tariff-fixed rates that are to be applied to qualified renewable energy resources as a form of incentive to RE developers.
“This underscores the importance of an RE Scorecard which the civil society and other RE stakeholders should administer to ensure that the residual impacts of RE development are managed,” she said.
Legarda, one of the authors of the Renewable Energy Law, also said that for many years prior to the passage of the RE Law in 2008, the country’s renewable energy resources have not been pursued vigorously. The slump is evident in the fact that while global renewable energy capacity grew at rates of 15% to 30% annually for the period 2002-2006, the development of RE in the Philippines was basically concentrated on a few hydro projects. In fact, the RE law took 18 years to pass.
“The development of RE needs to be pursued as a low emission development strategy, but this should be carried out in full consideration of the interests of the consumers and the public-at-large,” the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change pointed out.
The proposed feed-in-tariff rates have been submitted by the National Renewable Energy Board to the Energy Regulatory Commission for consideration.
The launching of the National Renewable Energy Program was held on June 14. The event was attended by nearly 700 renewable energy stakeholders – a gathering that brought together representatives of youth groups, civic organizations, church groups, including the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry of Ecology and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and the private sector – all in support of the country’s national renewable energy program.
“It is inspiring to note that various sectors have come together in full support of renewable energy. I hope that such coming together will continue as we seek to maximize the benefits and long-term impacts of RE. I am counting on the Department of Energy to ensure a level-playing field, fair electricity pricing, and a conducive business environment that will help us realize the activities reflected in our RE Program,” Legarda concluded.