Energy think tank
alarmed over abundance of big ticket coal projects in pipeline
Abundance of coal to
negate efforts on reducing energy costs, group says
January 23, 2019
QUEZON CITY – An
energy think tank is alarmed over the sheer number of major coal
projects to go online this 2019, saying that coal threatens to raise
electricity costs for the next ten to twenty years, on top of its
negative effects on the environment and climate.
The Center for Energy,
Ecology, and Development (CEED), one of the convening organizations
of the Power for People Coalition, expressed concern as the
abundance of coal "will undermine any current attempt to reduce the
cost of electricity for ordinary consumers."
"Despite the global push
to reduce carbon emissions and shift to renewables, 81% of major
projects to go online for 2019 in the Philippines are to be sourced
from coal, amounting to almost 3,500 MW of dirty and costly energy,"
said CEED Executive Director Gerry Arances.
"As early as 2017, it has
been reported that all proposed and committed coal plants are
projected to become stranded assets, with many plants currently in
operation already in various stages of stranding," Arances
continued. "It is ironic that after years of consumers paying for
stranded debts and contract costs of the National Power Corporation,
we are on the verge of replicating the same problem with the current
onslaught of coal projects in the pipeline," he said.
Arances said that the
foreseen devaluation of coal projects will be shouldered by
consumers, who will end up paying for the projects' contract costs.
"As many as four bills are
in the present legislative agenda aiming to decrease the costs of
electricity," Arances said. "But we run the risk of being blindsided
by hidden and externalized costs in pending coal projects if they
are left unhindered."