Friday, November 11, 2016

DENR Sec Lopez wants 
cheap renewable energy 

TAGBILARAN CITY, November 9 (PIA)--If there is going to be another source of energy for Bohol, Environment Secretary says she hopes wit would be the renewable kind of source. 

Commenting on a question during a press conference shortly after her visit to Cambugsay Healing Hills where a 24 hectare coffee plantation and a nursery for Robusta now sits, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Paz Lopez admitted she is biased against coal energy. 

Explaining that she did a study of about 14 coal fired energy plants, she said coal is always bad for the environment. 

Secretary Lopez's statement came even as a strong lobby for the more advanced and cleaner coal technology is getting pushed as the cheaper and more immediate alternative for the country.

In his State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte hinted the option for cheaper energy source while the Philippines guns for industrialization. 

At the current rate of development however, observers see an energy crisis in the next couple of years for the Philippines. 

But building a more efficient and cleaner renewable energy source may mean the government bankrolling the costs. 

Over this, the prospect of private public partnership could surface, but Secretary Lopez has a mouthful to say. 

"I hate it when the government develops a clean energy source, and turns it over to the private sector so they can charge double," she blared, recalling the profit orientation of the private companies. 

Earlier, the woman environment secretary who has successful streak in going after miners who have been remiss in their contracts, said all development must be for the people and not just a few. 

Lopez stressed that when it is government building the renewable energy source, people must be minimally charged.

Meanwhile, Duterte Administration, through the Department of Energy (DOE), puts premium on the provision of quality, reliable, adequate, secure and reasonably-priced energy by looking at all possible resources that the country can utilize to achieve our industrialization goals.

To diversify the energy mix, the DOE will also study nuclear energy as a possible option for the Philippines.

We stand behind the President’s pronouncements on ensuring the safe utilization of all energy sources, especially with the renewed interest on nuclear energy technology.

The DOE is currently into the creation of a Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO).

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its attached agencies, DOE attached agencies, other relevant government offices and local and international partner organizations will be asked to assist the NEPIO in its work.

During the recent IAEA International Conference on the Prospects For Nuclear Power In The Asia Pacific Region, DOE pointed out: “The country should have a clear position on nuclear power. A well-informed decision is key to a sustainable and comprehensive energy program. With all the new findings, technological advancements and successful experiences of countries around the world, nuclear energy holds much promise for long-term energy plans.” (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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