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Renewable energy targets not met, Legarda laments

July 18, 2018

ENVIRONMENTALIST Senator Loren Legarda yesterday declared that the past and current government failed to meet the goals of providing renewable energy under the Renewable Energy (RE) Law.

In her speech during the symposium attended by RE stakeholders in Quezon City, Legarda said that as of today, RE stakeholders continue to grapple with mixed signals from those charged with implementing the RE Law even with its passage in December 2008.

“Many will agree, there is much to be desired in the outcomes, ten years since the adoption of the RE Act,” said Legarda.

Legarda explained that the RE Law was passed to achieve the Department of Energy’s police framework dubbed “100 in 10”— which stands for doubling the RE capacity in ten years, from the 4,450 megawatts (MW) in 2002 to 9,418 MW by 2013. This served as a critical pillar for the country’s drive to clean energy and energy independence.

The energy agenda then also sought a reduction in coal imports by 20% in ten years. The adoption of the RE Law, it said, will help achieve these outcomes.

“As any reasonable person would expect, the passage of the RE Law was supposed to be the pathway to higher levels of energy self-sufficiency; but performance indicators, to date, betray the mixed policy positions of the government on this matter,” said Legarda.

She further noted that the government’s energy independence agenda that were then aimed to increase the energy self-sufficiency level from 56.6% in 2005 to 60% in 2010. Today, the country’s energy self-sufficiency level is down to 55%.

“This scenario could be quite disturbing if you know that in 2009, our energy self-sufficiency level was already at 59.5%,” she claimed.

She also said that for a period of 11 years, from 2005 up to 2016, the installed capacity of RE increased only by an average of 157 MW per year — from 5,226 MW in 2005 to 6,958MW or an addition of only 1,732 MW in 11 years.

“This meant a paltry 3% increase every year for eleven years. These figures present one glaring fact – We miserably failed in meeting our goal of doubling the installed capacity of RE,” Legarda insisted.

She also reported that instead of reducing the country’s importation of coal, it instead increased by an annual average of 12.8% from 1989 to 2015. Between 2015 and 2016, she claimed the coal imports were even higher by 16% from 17.3 metric tons to 20 metric tons.

But the senator is quick to defend the country’s RE Law. She said that the Philippines has a good law and was one of the first countries in the region to adopt an RE Law.

Legarda insisted that the most intriguing aspect of RE Law implementation in the country is the absence of a clear and political commitment to develop and stimulate a healthy market for renewable energy development.

Source: Journal