• CitizenWatch endorses DOE’s new energy mix


    Consumer group CitizenWatch on Thursday endorsed the plan of the Department of Energy (DOE) to revamp the country’s energy mix policy, saying it would ensure a reliable power supply and lower the price of electricity.

    Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said that the new fuel mix policy will be based on the system requirement of 70 percent base load, 20 percent mid-merit and 10 percent peaking power, instead of the previous administration’s source based approach.

    This is a change from the past administration’s policy, which was a 30:30:30 energy mix of renewables, coal and natural gas, with the remaining 10 percent allocated for alternative energy sources.

    “While the policy resulted in more investments in renewable energy, it also had the effect of adding to the already high cost of electricity owing to the more expensive generation charges of some of these RE plants, as well as from the additional feed-in-tariff charges,” Citizen Watch Secretary General Paco Pangalangan said in a statement.

    “We support the DOE’s new direction on the energy mix policy promoting competition among generation companies and will ultimately result in cheaper electricity prices for consumers,” he said.

    “The priority of government should be to support a more robust economy by ensuring a steady and competitive power supply for industry and consumers,” he added.

    “While we understand the need for clean energy, scientific data, however, has shown that the pollution that caused this global climate change came from the industries of the developed countries and certainly not the Philippines, where our contribution to global warming is much less than one percent,” added Pangalangan.

    “We should not risk slowing down our development through policies that mandate and unfairly force us to subsidize the unviable cost of certain lobby groups and energy suppliers. We are still at a stage where lower cost and availability of adequate supply are critical to support growth and national development,” he said.

    Pangalangan added that a Congressional Oversight Committee should be convened to review and thoroughly scrutinize the money collected by RE suppliers and find out how much subsidy has been enjoyed because of the feed-in-tariff, as well as the overlapping taxes imposed on the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

    “The power sector is already heavily taxed. We should no longer allow policies that promote additional burden to electricity consumers,” Pangalangan concluded.


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